2016 releases

| Saturday, December 31, 2016

I did this last year so I thought I'd do it again. I know there are glaring holes in this, like I know about A Tribe Called Quest, I just haven't listened to it except for that time my roommate blasted it in the main room and I loved it. But here are albums that I honestly listened to and honestly dug a lot. Will post a youtube and featured youtube comment like I did last time.

Noname - Telefone (hip hop)

Top release. At an easy 30 minutes, it's an incredibly smooth listen with a variety of gentle but catchy melodic beats and soulful features to go with her relaxed, unassuming rapping. I believe this is her debut mixtape. It's all very hopeful sounding but there are some heartbreaking tracks, for example one written for her terminated babe, the topic handled in a personal, simple, and non-political way I'd never heard before. Anyway, I'd put this album on for anyone.

This girl is in a lane of her own, which is why she's so refreshing to listen too. She reminds me of Erykah

Big Black Delta - Tragame Tierra (pop, indie)

One of my favorite bands, and I'm not quite sure why they're not more popular. This album had a Kimbra feature, which hopefully boosted them up! Great track too! I followed this project on PledgeMusic where I pre-bought the album and also a poster which has been up on my wall most of the year, and I got to see personal updates from Jonathan Bates and snag some unreleased tracks. Still can't believe "Wrong Blonde Susan", one of the unreleased tracks, isn't on this album but maybe he's got other plans for it... this album is still real good though. He wrote this music through tough times of loss--his father and a close friend. There was one evening in May this year where I drunkenly put this album on and bawled loudly in the living room for the entire 50 minute duration after reading a sad child cancer story on Facebook. It's not a sad album though. It's uplifting, optimistic, gentle and whimsical sometimes and massive and hard-hitting other times, but always kind. This album is my friend.

Actually fucking criminal that more people don't know about BBD.

TV Girl - Who Really Cares (pop, chillwave)

There's a small venue a couple blocks away that serves serious cocktails, called The Liquor Store. I saw Vektroid was playing there so I was like yeah I'll be there! I didn't know this headliner TV Girl though, but I checked out some tracks and it seemed really fun. And then I was suddenly really into TV Girl. It just immediately clicked with me. It's bright, sugar-sweet, sample-heavy homemade pop from LA with some simple, petty, very frank lyrics. Some of the lines on here is just devastating. I made sure all of it was on Genius. "And when she finally came even though she faked it / It was much appreciated / At least she had the decency / To try to make a sound she thought I'd like" sung over this cool trippy beat. It's mostly songs bitching about girls he slept with, but it's great. I could see people having issues with the vocals/production/polish/formula/blah blah but this is a gem and I'm glad it exists.

It's weird. I want you guys to get successful and make it but at the same time I don't want you guys to be bastardized by normies. Is this how hipsters feel?

Sammus - Infusion (hip hop)

I discovered Sammus this year because she spoke at XOXO. She put this EP out this year, so I listened to it, and this got me immediately hooked. She later put out a full album called "Pieces In Space" and it's good but I'm posting the EP because I listened to it more. She has good words to say on good topics. I like her style. She also makes a bunch of Metroid references I don't get. But it's ok, I hear the rest of it.

Is her album out? She's addressing a real topic, one rarely discussed in rap over a fire instrumental.

Anderson .Paak - Malibu (hip hop, soul)

Well here's one that definitely is making all the other lists. And it's so cool to see this happen for Anderson .Paak. I remember learning of him for the first time when Tokimonsta released "Realla" with him on vocals, and I was addicted to that song for months. I love Tokimonsta, but I kept coming back to how good this guy sounded. I don't even know why "Realla" wasn't more popular. But anyway here he is, with what he made, and it's definitely different from that Tokimonsta track--much warmer, more soul, more hip hop. It's not a short album and to be real honest I have a hard time with full-length CDs for hip hop because of how dense it tends to be, but this is pleasingly varied and well-paced.

What a pimp track! It's that deep house groove baby. Too much hype on trap and dubstep; that shit sounds all the same. Soul less. But this right here...this right here has soul & groove written all over it. Deuce.

Justice - Woman (pop, electronic)

They released it not too long ago so I can't say how it ages, but they did good on this album imo. It's real fun to listen to front to back--there's not a single bad track on this. No, it won't compare to Cross. Nothing will. This is a very well done album regardless.

dropping this at the Halloween party

Kishi Bashi - Sonderlust (pop, indie)

This radio-friendly indie pop is not a genre I'm super interested in these days, but that's how I felt about his last album too (which I loved), and this is also a super solid, enjoyable album. In this one he plays around with sort of classic-rock-sounding grooves--a friend pointed out the similarity to early Pink Floyd in "Who'd You Kill", for example. I noticed this shift towards classic rock in Of Montreal's 2015 album too. Is that a thing now..? There's also this 70's pop sounding ballad "Say Yeah" and a couple epic-sounding tracks. It's varied and ever positive, a good one to put on around family or at parties where it's more about the conversation or at work when you just need some damn musicky music. You need those.

it's like a melody that you've known your whole life, but never heard until now.

Santigold - 99 Cents (pop)

This album is a joy. Santigold makes pop that is just a little bit obnoxious, a little weird, in the exact way that tickles my pop desires. Syrupy, childlike, infectious. Driven, off-kilter, satisfying. There are some surprisingly dark tracks on this too: "Walking In A Circle" is whimsically icy like Fever Ray, and "Before The Fire" has this Wild Beasts understated percussion going on. The low point is "Who Be Lovin Me" with a painful ILOVEMAKONNEN feature. Otherwise, it's a pretty interesting release.

Her songs are so unconventional yet completely my flavor and I feel enriched after hearing her songs, loved it, again!

Open Mike Eagle - Hella Personal Film Festival (hip hop)

To be real honest this was hit/miss for me, but the hits are so good (and also Open Mike Eagle is my fave) this is still one of my tops. I got really excited with the music video of "Check 2 Check", it's so funny and so good. Though I wasn't thrilled with all the songs, hearing him grapple with (I believe) nonmonogamy issues in the songs "Insecurity" and "Insecurity Pt 2" was incredible. He handled the issue of racial bias in "Smiling", with some of my favorite lines on how to treat a black man such as him on the street: "Nobody needs your patronizing hip-hop nod / Just be a person / That's the bottom line be a person / And fuck the rhyme scheme this time just be a person". I lol'd at his out-of-nowhere (but somehow so appropriately so)-lament in the joy-filled "I Went Outside Today" saying "I looked up what Lena Dunham said and I shouldn't haaaaave" because even when you're having a great day and feeling invincible you can still make some innocent slip-ups. All this stuff is why I love OME.

This is dope.

Other notable releases, select songs linked:

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool: The only album of theirs besides OK Computer that I've gotten into. Very good. I stopped after a month because it's too sad though.
AlunaGeorge - I Remember: Very solid dancey electronic pop sophomore album. It's more mainstream-sounding than their debut, with trap beats and features. Delightful!
STRFKR - Being No One, Going Nowhere: Enjoyed this. Super accessible psych indie electro pop whatever. Fun melodies!
Lizzo - Coconut Oil: This EP is really fun. Didn't know about Lizzo before this, but it seems like she's blowing up right now.
Mr. Oizo - All Wet: Oizo is weird. This is weird. It's a welcome return, with surprising big name features. Hit/miss like usual, obnoxious, a quick entertaining listen.
Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Generation: KKB's second LP! I think I like the singles over the album as a whole. Kind of long, prefer the second half.
Tobacco - Sweatbox Dynasty: One of my favorite artists! Ended up not being a favorite release, but still scratches the itch I had for new music from him.
Deerhoof - The Magic: Another good un from prolific Deerhoof. An interesting mish mash of genres on this one. Deviations from their usual. Not bad, though.
Mykki Blanco - Mykki: Yay Mykki! Mixed bag, but it's always refreshing to hear more queer hip hop, and it's sounding real good.

Tobacco at Wonder Ballroom 10/8/2016

| Monday, October 17, 2016

I bought tickets for this in May back when I was still buying tickets in pairs. I didn't know back then I'd break up with everybody. It's always a risk you take, and I knew it was a risk back then too, but I did it anyway. I didn't manage to sell or give away my extra ticket, but that's okay. It's only the second show that that's happened with.

I rushed to the show from a bachelorette party I didn't get to stay the whole time for. I made it for roller skating, which I was surprised I wasn't terrible at, and had to leave after an hour ish. I'd also locked my roommate out of the apartment, so I was rushing to get to the show by 9 but also being rushed by my possibly slightly drunk roommate via 5 phone calls during the 15 minute drive from the roller rink to the concert venue at which he waited after Lyfting there to get my house key.

But I made it. The opening act started shortly after I got there. Odonis Odonis is an industrial 3-piece band from Toronto. I didn't look up the openers to this show before I got there so I was in blind. I dug the darkwavey synth leads and the big sound they had, but not as much the vocals, which came in fuzzy distorted but maybe not distorted enough yelps and shouts. And it was LOUD. I didn't want to blow my ears out on the first band, so I went downstairs for a PBR and sandwich order and put my earplugs in, went back up, stood near front and center, and listened. I kept making eye contact with the frontman but that's probably because of where I was standing and also he probably couldn't see a thing. There were so few people at the show so far, like 10% capacity, I got a bit worried. I knew the show wasn't sold out (which is why I couldn't sell mine) but was it that bad? Tobacco on a Saturday night? Sometimes I forget that Tobacco isn't as popular as I think he should be. I had some other thoughts, about music in general, gazing into the lights. I remember thinking how profound they were and how I should write about it. I wished I could record my super real thoughts without having to write it in language. I forgot what the profound thoughts were. I stuck around for four songs and then I went down to check on my sandwich.

My sandwich wasn't ready. I didn't feel like putting my earplugs back in and going back upstairs to bop awkwardly in a politely dancing audience, so I sat at a table that a couple was sitting at, and drank my piss beer. My grilled cheese finally arrived, and the couple left. I didn't say a word to them, even when the boyfriend was off getting drinks and she was sitting alone avoiding eye contact with everyone. If I had come with a date, that would be me. There were beautiful people all around us. There was a tall person with a natural blond mohawk wearing a long purple velvet sleeveless jacket with gold sparkle tights and a mona lisa makeup job. I wanted to tell them they were fantastic and beautiful. I did not, because I am shy. I texted my coworker who was celebrating his birthday at the concert today to see where to meet up.

Then a woman asked where I got my sandwich. I took this opportunity to offer half of my sandwich to her. There was a nice symmetry in this, as last time I was at this venue (for AlunaGeorge!) my date and I sat down and a girl eating her sandwich gave us the other half. We felt bad we didn't talk to her, as it seemed like she was alone. She did go up and dance drunkenly on stage with Kari Faux though, so we think she was having a good time anyway. (Kari Faux was a fabulously fun opening act! she had delightfully positive energy that rivaled the headliner). But yeah here I was this time, and I paid it forward to someone who was also solo (or so it seemed). She sat with me and we chatted. It turned out we were both recently broken up from 4-year relationships, and we both had the same color hair (teal). She was so friendly and offered to let me hang out with her and her concert buddies for the evening!

We went upstairs and caught some of High Tides's bit, the sub-headliner. It was some sort of mix set. Again I didn't research them at all. I dug it, and I dug the soft retro/trippy visuals. My immediate reaction was that it sounded like Black Moth Super Rainbow, so it was a good choice to pair them with Tobacco, I guess? Then they played an actual BMSR track mixed into their set, which was confusing. I walked around and found my coworker buddies and yelled into their ears for conversation. I was in a chipper mood because meeting people is fun. They were standing in the back for some reason so I went up to the front and stood with sandwich buddy & co. I basically chatted the whole time High Tides was up. I'm not used to doing that at shows. I'm not usually that guy. I'm sure I'll check them out because they sounded good; maybe I'll smack myself later when I realize I love them and would have loved to actually pay attention to their performance.

I chatted some more with people, but I made sure to go up as far front as I could get to wait for Tobacco to come on. I was alone, and that's ok, since I can move around the crowd easier. There was some interesting wait music--Diplo's Express yourself, Missy Elliott's WTF, and to my bewildered delight Aphex Twin's Windowlicker.

Windowlicker playing right before Tobacco came on, it was unreal and perfect.

A video posted by Nagisa Day (@nagisaday) on

They did a little sound check during that, and hearing some of those Tobaccy fuzzy sounds got me super hyped, and any anxiety I had about being alone that night melted off. Then Windowlicker faded out and Tobacco came on.

It started with Human Om, which felt very natural. I'd noted before that there was a gong onstage, which was whatever, but they projected on it like it was a small circular screen! It was pretty great. Some of the songs do have gong sounds, so that part was live, and we got to watch black-masked BMSR drummer guy hit the projected dude in the face for those crash sounds. Lick the Witch. So good, so yes. Fantasy Trash Wave was after that, another favorite from their newest album, and it made me feel unexpectedly tear-in-my-eye emotional, but I was having a great time. Video Warning Attempts. A weirdly dumbed down version of Streaker. I noticed during BMSR's live show that I went to a couple years back, that some of the hard-hitting popular songs sounded kind of light and washed over. So I guess that's a Tobacco thing? Stretch Your Face, as featured on Silicon Valley, so it got some of the non-dancers moving. Constellation Dirtbike Head. Dipsmack, an underrated track I'm glad he played. Some tracks I didn't recognize because maybe they're new or they're from Allegheny White Fish Tapes. I've listened to all their other albums.

Encore, got invited to stand closer to front, which was a first. This chick just turned around and motioned to me and a guy next to me, to get in front of her to the space there. Maybe she wanted some buffer between her and the sickbros that had just pushed through to that space as well. The sickbros did their enthusiastic sickbro dancing, their gross sweaty bodies bumping into me constantly. Normally I might be irate, but I had already accepted that this would happen simply because it was a Tobacco show, and was in fact disappointed that there hadn't been more of this. During this I was trying to identify where this energy came from--the energy these bros were running on and emitting, the energy I absorbed and reflected myself. I thought about whether Tobacco was "sexual"... if so it's sexual in a really base, gross way, it's not sexual like R&B. R&B is romantic, Tobacco is not. It's more like your own fucked up undefinable sexuality, or ideas of it like objectification and sexualization. Like I heard they've shown weird dinosaur cosplay porn projected at their show before. I can't even explain it. This music and aesthetic is sexual in a totally different sense. These thoughts drained away as I was thinking way too hard about it and continued bouncing in the crowd. Maybe, in general, I'm drawn to this shit because it's so weird that it makes me feel normal. That's a common story. People find their freak home somewhere. My home is this ephemeral feeling I get in the midst of all of that orgasmic ear-beating. This is my particular flavor of weird.

There were lots of people standing up front not dancing. Maybe it's because Tobacco's general audience is 1) shy introverts that don't dance and 2) sickbros, and I'm kinda in the middle where I'm an awkward introvert that absolutely wants to get pushed around and soak in the energy in this gross thing. I was a bit let down that I wasn't around people as excited as I was until the encore. But that was home.

Encore songs: The encore started with an unfortunately dumbed down version of Gods In Heat. A bro was like "I told you!" to his bro when it first started up. But then it was a little disappointing. Father Sister Berzerker came on after that, which took me a minute to realize they weren't playing this a second time--I'd confused this with another popular track they played before, I think Side 8 Big Gums? which would mean that they did indeed play a track from Fucked Up Friends?! Good. I felt kinda dumb that I didn't identify it correctly the first time for as much as I love Tobacco. But I was relieved that Tobacco wasn't just playing Father Sister Berzerker twice to troll us being like "yeah we know this is your favorite song because Silicon Valley, you basics". Since that's what was crossing my mind as I half not-danced as it started. Then I think there was another song. And the encore was over. I really wanted more. I was not ready for it to be over. It felt like a really short set.

Regardless, I was feeling exhilarated. I found sandwich group standing several feet back as the crowd dispersed, and we excitedly discussed what we'd just experienced. One of the guys said, gazing at the remaining crowd, "It's always a bad sign when people dance more to the exit music than to the actual show". I looked and there were definitely some drunk people dancing to the tired 80's pop that had come on. I voiced my disbelief in the non-dancers, and he nodded and said, "Welcome to Portland." I grew up around here though! Is it the townies? is it the transplants? is it the I-only-came-because-its-Saturday-night weekend crowd? is it just Tobacco's fanbase like I'd considered earlier? This guy I was talking to is black and gay and I can't help but recall my last blog post about the Le1f show whose tiny crowd let me down.

I hovered around the merch table. Seven Fields of Aphelion was running the table for Tobacco! I'd identified her and other BMSR people helping out on stage. I waited til a lot of the buyers had bought so I felt less rushed, and I gave her my "I love your work and it makes me love ambient music" statement and asked if she was releasing more. She said it should be out February! And I said I tried to buy her CD once, and couldn't because it was sold out on her site, and she pointed out that she was selling a few on that very table. Both such lovely surprises! I bought her Periphery CD, and I bought Tobacco's Ultima II Massage CD. Both are in my car now. I sat in my car to revel in how awesome everything is. I played Periphery on the ride back. I love everything.

Animal Collective at the Roseland 3/5

| Friday, May 6, 2016

The Roseland Theater: would you like to stand at armpit-sniffing height behind these tall people or those tall people? I need to invest in a smart, practical pair of 5-inch heels for going to shows. This is my main issue with the larger venues with larger crowds.

(photo taken at eye level. this was the entire show)

The opener kind of sucked, and I'm usually pretty excited about openers. We sat in the bar downstairs and ate pizza and drank water and half-watched the band casted on the TV screen.

Conversation with my best friend is never a waste.

When we went upstairs for Animal Collective, we could not get through the massive solid block of taller-than-us people, and nobody showed mercy for us shorties. Defeated, we camped out in a tight old-growth forest of hot sweat (we could kinda see the stage between heads though), and after some uncomfortable amount of time, the music started. Even taller people appeared in front of us out of nowhere.

I mostly bought these tickets for my partner since he is a big fan of AC. I have a weird non-relationship with AC. It is one of respect and acknowledgement that in a parallel universe it would probably be a favorite band of mine. All the tags and related artists and musical characteristics signify I would love AC. I listened to Strawberry Jam in high school when the torrent community I was in pointed it out as one of the best of the year, and I listened to it several times with somewhat unfulfilled enthusiasm. I liked Peacebone. My partner had since shown me songs I've really liked, good beginner tracks like Summertime Clothes. I'd kept up with the release of their newest single, FloriDada, which wasn't their greatest but I listened to it. My coworker had posted Panda Bear's Mr. Noah in the music chat, which I quickly came to love. I tried listening to Avey Tare once but the album was released in reverse for some artsy reason. I found an unreversed version, and thought the music sounded really good, but couldn't bear to download it like that because it was unofficial and not how the artist released it. Maybe I would have liked Avey Tare. (Animal Collective is made up of two guys who, solo, go by Avey Tare and Panda Bear.)

They played none of these songs. (Except for FloriDada in the encore, naturally. When it came on, a guy near us broke down in happiness like "OMG I can't believe it! They're playing this song!") It was a sold out show at the Roseland, one of the bigger venues in town, and everyone knows they are a popular band. I'm not sure what songs they were playing, and what albums they were playing off of, new or old. I wondered if they were catering to their most loyal fans by playing the deep cuts or if I was just that clueless to not recognize any of the songs despite having listened to at least 2 of their albums. It was pretty jammy and stuff, and it seemed like the light show might've been cool, as I watched with my neck craned at reflections of bright colors flickering off the ceiling.

As people moved to the music, I sometimes caught glimpses of one of the guys playing on stage. If I leaned just so, I could focus on Avey Tare when the heads moved out of the way, or if I leaned over this way, I could catch Panda Bear sometimes. Panda Bear is cute so I chose that side.

And that was the show. The tickets were like $35. I've seen some OK shows at the Roseland like Little Dragon, but I think the average height of Little Dragon's fanbase is shorter than AC's. Plus the openers for that show were awesome (Cibo Matto AND Little Dragon in one night?! are you kidding?) so we had a spot pretty close to the front staked out behind a bunch of short girls my height. And that show was cheaper too. I dunno man

Le1f at Star Theater

| Friday, March 4, 2016

By the time the show was over, the biggest thought in my head was "What the fuck is this crowd."

That is to say, there wasn't much of one, and although enough fans were there to make significant noise, there were many more that just stood there uncomfortable or bored or simply unsure of where the hell they landed on earth that day when they woke up. I don't blame Le1f for not coming out for an encore. And I don't even blame him for not speaking to any of the leftover sprinkle of fans except for the one black woman leaning up to the stage, when he came back out for his equipment 5 minutes after the last encore cheers ended and the slice of a crowd had evaporated. It may not have been on purpose, but I also don't think it's a coincidence. They had a short but engaged conversation that ended with her bowing towards his feet with both of her hands and him walking away laughing at her flattery. That was good. I wish I could have said hi and conveyed my respect as well, but I understand it might not be the same.

I know Portland is lily white, and I know there's been tension with (what little there is of) hip hop in Portland. But I thought Portland had a pretty big queer community? And alright, if not that, then a pretty big general music loving community, LGBT allies and diversity allies? I guess queer hip hop is still niche.

To give the crowd credit, they showed up. The ones that stuck around, stuck around. And it was bumping pretty good during "Wut". But of course it should be! It's a catchy one. It's probably Le1f's most popular track. And look at all that talent and charisma and ugh.

But cmon, nobody else yelled out "goodbye man" the last two words of the verse part? Nobody else followed the chorus enough to help out with "wut it do, wut it don't"? Or the line "how many batty boys can you fit in a jeep" in Boom?

Le1f's got some weird music too, both new and old; there's more of the experimental than the banger in his new LP. Even the bangers are experimental. Sophie and Balam Acab aren't exactly mainstream sounds. But when Le1f steps down from the stage and into the crowd and tells you to rage, you fucking rage.

Leading up to the show, I noticed there weren't many people RSVP'ed to the Facebook event for it, and even as I was buying the single ticket for myself I was conflicted between taking others (straight and not terribly interested in Le1f) or keeping it a higher concentration of gay and supporting. In hindsight... though it crossed my mind that maybe I should have taken a crowd, I am not sure if it would have made a huge difference to have more uninterested people there. Though that is a slightly selfish way of thinking; I know how monetary and word of mouth support works. What it comes down to is, maybe we're just not ready for Le1f, for a variety of reasons. I imagine there's a tighter turnout in larger cities, especially closer to his home NYC and along the east coast. He'll keep making music and making waves. It's a niche that I hope keeps getting bigger and bigger. We may not be ready for it, but we need more of it.

It was unfortunate that the show started rocky, too, with the curtains not being open (hiding the lights behind it and limiting his space for dancing) and particularly his wireless mic cutting out before he walked off stage in the middle of a song to get that fixed. The opener was not a band, but it was a drag show. It might have worked better if there was an actual opening band. The drag show was fantastic, actually, but it was a different sort of energy. Even then, the host of the drag show was noticing that her mic cut off from time to time, which should have been a BIG clue for them to switch that out before the main show.

Back on the positive--aside from all that tension, his performance was great. The dancing, the voicing. He played the songs I anticipated hearing, and only left out one song I really like. He had a cool brown/asian backup dancer! They had some coordinated moves. He was poised, but engaging. I'm really glad that he hit Portland between Seattle and SF. He almost didn't, and I seriously considered the commute to Seattle for a few minutes. I hope this doesn't discourage him from skipping Portland in the future. We need this.

Beacon / Natasha Kmeto / Vektroid in Portland

| Sunday, February 28, 2016

I had an emotionally fatiguing evening that went longer than scheduled, and I was later than I wanted to be to secure tickets for a show I kinda wanted to go to. It's a Saturday night, so tickets do tend to sell out. It was at Mississippi Studios which means I have to go all the way onto the freeway for a whole 5 minutes and then look for parking and walk to the venue, just to see if it was sold out yet or not. Like I said I only kinda wanted to see the show. I just saw that Vektroid was opening; I didn't know the other two bands. Vektroid is a Portland artist, and I hadn't seen them live yet, and I found them online a few years back as a witch house (then later vaporwave/seapunk/who tf knows) composer. I was real surprised they were even a Portland artist. Vaporwave is so internet that it doesn't seem like they actually exist in the physical realm in a real city or anything, much less your own city. Well how bout that! I'm not even a very good fan of Vektroid because I only know a few songs, mostly their remix of Rebecca Black's "Friday" (how I found them, cuz I'm terrible) and "Mindscape" from their Starcalc album. But heck if I'm not gonna see how they do live someday. I'm gonna be that asshole. The asshole that is only going for the smallest opener except only for one song by them and also it's vaporwave.

I checked the Facebook event, and noticed they didn't actually mention Vektroid. Just Beacon, the headliner I'd never even heard of before, and Natasha Kmeto, another local artist I'd been meaning to check out at some point. I'd had the event on my calendar for Vektroid for a while, so I was faaairly sure it was supposed to be on the ticket. I checked the ticket site. I posted on the event questioning if Vektroid would be there. I called the venue to see if I could get through to anyone, and sat through the automated menu that told me to check the website for up to date show info. I checked the website for that so called up to date info. No confirmation anywhere. Maybe I won't go.

I got ready to go anyway, because I wasn't doing anything else with my Saturday! Might as well try. As I was packing my purse and figuring out logistics of wearing a jacket that I was probably later going to take off, I lost motivation. Plus, I was gonna be late and it was probably sold out anyway, so I decided not to go. Nobody needs Saturday night plans. I don't care if I told everyone I was going. My night is mine, it's all for me, and if I want to stay home and relax and avoid social contact, that's a great plan.

I checked the venue's Facebook page and they had a post mentioning Vektroid that morning. I grabbed my stuff and left.

I drove fast, parked fast/close (amazing!), anxiously fast walked to the venue, and was actually able to buy my ticket quite easily. There was barely anyone there, a few minutes before 9, when Vektroid was supposed to be on. I was suddenly aware of how painfully empty my stomach was. I got myself a water cup and found a side table to stand at. You could order food at the bar next door, but you have to wait there for them to deliver it to you, and Vektroid was about to be on. I finished my water and got a coke from the bar, which I carefully decided on as the best meal replacement you can get from just a bar. Alcohol sounded nothing but sickening. She didn't even charge me, which was quite nice. I stuffed a dollar into the tip stein. I wonder if she thought I was the designated driver? I guess I technically was. Back at my table, I slowly drank my iced coke and got very cold even with my jacket. Why would they A/C the hell out of a sparsely filled room in winter time? It might've been warmer outside.

Halfway through what should have been Vektroid's hour, I asked the ticket seller guy if they were coming on. He said they'd cancelled last minute that afternoon due to being sick. He was real apologetic, and told me to email the venue people and they can refund me. I wasn't about to go home though... he told me to just enjoy the show anyway and email them later. That was nice too.

Well in that case, I thought, I'll go get me some delicious Bar Bar fries. Two cash dollars and ten minutes later, I took my cajun fries back into the venue which had filled up quite a bit, and tried to find an open surface to set it on. People stared at my fries as I went around them. Nobody actually eats inside the venue. I finally found a table at the front that wasn't completely surrounded by people, just a couple, and I set my fries there meekly before proceeding to stuff my face. Coke and fries, alone and normcore.

I must have looked pretty goddamn sad, because the girl at the table leaned over to me and said, "I love you." "Thank you," I replied with a smile. She nodded and affirmed: "I saw you standing over there earlier and I just want you to know that I love you." Despite whatever drug she was on, I thought it was nice. I told her thank you again, and after hesitating told her I'd had a weird meeting with an ex just before this and so it was good to hear it. "Then it's good you came! It's gonna be an amaaaazing show!" she exclaimed, and repeated it several times. She then offered a hug, which I readily accepted because fuck yeah hugs! and she told me she was sorry I had a tough day. We chatted some. Her boyfriend left for a bit, and she commented on how delicious my fries smelled. I offered her some, but she couldn't have any. I asked her why. "Oh... my boyfriend can be controlling." She quickly changed the subject. Not sure if she was fucking with me. She was from California, which she got kind of self conscious about, but what the hell, it's cool. When I told her my name meant ocean in Japanese, she exclaimed "Ujjayi!" which she told me was the ocean wave breath in yoga. I should practice that. I talked to the boyfriend a bit. They were there for Beacon, a favorite band of his. He asked what my favorite bands were, which is one of those questions that just floor me, but to be on-topic I said Disclosure. He got real excited. "Ok Beacon is like Disclosure, but"--he raised his hand to the top level--"ten times better." We all got hyped. It was gonna be an amazing show and we were gonna have a great time.

Natasha Kmeto came on. She's a local electronic producer with a voice of hot soul. Part of the Dropping Gems collective, which I followed, and I don't know why I haven't seen her live before or really given her music a real chance. I'd been interested for a while though, if only because I am always excited for lady producers makin' it in the world, and that she seems like a genuinely kickass person. But I wasn't prepared to fall in love with her music this quickly.

She made my trip out to Mississippi Studios worth it immediately. Like I told her after the show at the merch table, I'm basically going to go see every performance she does in Portland from now on. Thank you Natasha Kmeto.

After that, I ran to wait in the bathroom line, and I missed the first minute or two of Beacon the headliner's set. It wasn't exactly loud music, and I didn't notice at first when I walked back in, except that the backdrop was awash in beautiful monochrome geometric visuals. With a new cup of water (I had considered getting a shot of whisky to sip for my coke jitters, but there was no time now to wait in the bar line) I pushed through to the front where there was a curiously large space. It makes me wonder what I missed in the first few minutes, because despite the full house nobody was standing at the very front, just a polite single foot back from the front, and nobody was really dancing. Which was a shame because whatever the hell they were playing, they were killing it, IMHO. Did Beacon specifically ask the audience please leave room up front? Was it common knowledge that they hate when people dance to their music? "Our music is so high-concept that it transcends dancing." I doubt it, because they were definitely bopping to it. It was no Disclosure--Controlling Boyfriend had added that Beacon was way chiller compared to Disclosure's music, chill background dinner party music he said. Which I was still hyped because that sounds right up my alley. It'd be a sad dinner party though. I'd describe it more like introspective bedroom dance music which, coincidentally, was exactly what I was planning for before I got tricked into coming to this show. The music, performance, and visuals spoke to my soul and I watched in awe and introspective bedroom danced my heart out. Stone sober, I might add. (I usually indulge...)

I'd never even heard of these guys and I was totally soaking it in up front, entranced, hanging onto every rhythm and vocal tone coming at my ears for the first time. I wonder if I seemed like a fan or if it was obvious I had 0 clue about this music. A guy next to me seemed to be a fan, doing a dance as mild as mine (but not just fucking standing there like most of the crowd idk) and mouthing the words. The words were as indecipherable as Radiohead vocals but I figured I'll look them up later. I'm glad he was there. Saturday night crowds can be really hit/miss. There were some quiet parts to the music, and once, a guy in the balcony yelled "Shut up" to supposedly other people up there who were talking over the music. I get you guy, I just wish you weren't so much louder than them. Some people behind me were having a drunk good time and during one quiet part before "the drop" one of the guys loudly said "wait for it wait for it wait for it" and then when "the drop" came, which was some understated chopped up bass sounds, he gleefully said "it's so dirty". I glanced at my dancing neighbor and his eyes were rolled back hard. Not one bit amused. He left during the encore. Not sure if he was overcome with hatred for people or what. It's too bad when that negativity eclipses your enjoyment of the experience, but I've been there.

Did I mention the visuals were amazing? I wish I had an entire video of all the visuals. I want that in my bedroom all the time. The video above is a pretty good representation, though. The singer had shoulder length hair that covered his face most of the time he was singing or stepping around on stage, and once in a while he'd brush his hair back with his hand, revealing his beautiful face for a few seconds. Long hair does act a mask on you. He was so soft spoken, and considering the music and visuals, and a little bit of endearing clumsiness, it made me wonder if he was stage shy. What if I had to go on stage and perform every night as my job? How quickly would I get used to it? How much would I rely on the mask of my hair and closing my eyes instead of looking at anyone or addressing the audience much? He kept tipping the tall mic stand, maybe by mistake or on purpose for dramatic effect, and it would precariously rebalance itself on its weighted base. But once he tipped it so far it tipped back the other way very far also, and he turned his shoulder and knocked it the rest of the way over with the mic still on it. It was a "saw that one coming" moment. At least it didn't make a loud sound. He quickly grabbed it back up and continued. How embarrassing is that, or is he used to it? Has he learned to move on quickly from those bad moments? I've learned to move on quickly. But I'm still so shielded. The shield is there for good reason. But maybe I should make more effort to be nicer; more generous. Will I regret being cold? It's felt so good to be an independent, self serving asshole tonight though. But the world is generous and I can do so much better.

Added two new posters to my collection this month :) both made for specific show dates I attended!

A photo posted by Nagisa Day (@nagisaday) on

I bought another poster for my poster collection. They had three! And I didn't get my favorite design! I had to get the special 2/28 Mississippi Studios performance one, though--it specifically said that, with the names Beacon, Natasha Kmeto, and Vektroid (lol). What a lineup though.

Anyway, tonight was another great example of why I go to shows. I should write more and drink less.

Top releases 2015 imo

| Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Not that anyone asked. Based on albums I actually listened to and really got into that were released in 2015 (which sadly excludes albums I got really into that were released before 2015, and albums from 2015 I'll catch up to later. shucks!) A choice quote of a YouTube comment for each. Not reeeally in any order.

Tame Impala - Currents (psychedelic rock)

If you haven't listened to this, do it. It's delicious. It breaks my heart a little but it's delicious. Fuzzy like Tame Impala is, but I couldn't really get into them before, and this one is just poppy enough, with clearer tunes and upbeats.

"some taste of golden and ancient collective sound memories and future perspection..adorable!"

Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again (psychedelic rock)

Not going to lie, I found Pond through similar artists for Tame Impala. It's more rockish and less electronic than Currents, a bit more sprawling/lazy with less modern pop aesthetic. Is this what classic rock is like? I don't listen to classic rock. Not to make it sound less cool but this is also my top work-focus album of 2015. Nerve softeners. Head grooves.

"God this song is powerful... Don't know about you guys, but I felt like when I heard Pink Floyd for the first time of my life..."

Clarence Clarity - No Now (experimental r&b)

It's weird and a little gross. I didn't know what was going on. But suddenly it became irreplaceable; I had thirsts unquenchable by any other music. Everything else felt lame and tryhard in comparison. It's cheesy and unsettling. Synthetic in the realest way.

"J U S T I N V A P O R L A K E"

Open Mike Eagle - A Special Episode EP (hip hop)

His thoughts and words and matter of fact delivery are real enjoyable. There are serious parts, geeky parts, funny parts. I got a little obsessed with this and actually had to stop listening to it for a bit because I was getting depressed from it. Anyway, I don't understand anyone that says there's no good hip hop coming out.

"More gold per square bar than yr average goddamn this is dope."

Sophie - PRODUCT (electronic)

All the sounds! Everything he makes is fun. He's produced songs for other artists this year too, like for Le1f and Charli XCX and Madonna. He put this out just a bit ago maybe to get on people's year end lists. Well deserved. Songs like "Hard" and "VYZEE" were soundtracks of parts of this year to get me to bubble up to get receptive to fun and the good parts of life and not be forever stuck in a spiral of anxiety. Sometimes things are meaningless and it's wonderful.

"When you gotta fart but make a jam also"

FKA Twigs - M3LL155X EP (experimental r&b)

Twigs is a genius. I still can't put a finger on why I'm so addicted to her music. Is it her effortlessly silky voice? Her otherworldly, intimidating, challenging, and overall classy sensuality? The stark weirdness of the actual music contrasting with the lovely sounds it constructs from? It's got a bite but it's a treat for the ears and the soul.

"In Time cured my acne"

Honorable mentions:

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love (psychedelic rock)

Polyamory and Portland, lol. It's also a really solid album after a few listens.

"this song has magic powders :) i fuckin love it" -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEtDVy55shI

Milo - So the Flies Don't Come (hip hop)

Similar fondness for this as I've got for Open Mike Eagle. Good words.

"all lifes matter" -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWvcZeUEP3o

LA Priest - Inji (experimental pop)

Came across this when I was looking up what happened with the band Late of the Pier, who made a great album in 2008 and disappeared. LA Priest is their frontman's solo project, and it's way more downbeat and electronic, but it's got some funky dancey parts too. I was listening to a lot of Clarence Clarity when I found this but it went together nice. Just another UK dude making weird music to shape the sound of our decade.

"im in love with this funky ass jam, and this dude can dance in my desert whenever he wants." -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJPjSaOcVwg

Mac DeMarco, Disclosure, Seinabo Sey, and Angel Haze released new albums too. I listened to them. I liked them.

Just testing out the Blogger app on my new tablet

| Sunday, January 20, 2013

Aaaaaaaand good night.

Backing up

| Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm switching hosts from Arvixe to... some other host, probably A Small Orange, because that host looks awesome.

I got a bill from Arvixe back in June or July for $96. Not a bill really--it had tried to auto-renew and failed, since I'd replaced the credit card last summer. I saw it as a good thing that it failed because it gave me time about what I really wanted to do: renew for 2 more years, or figure out what else to do with my site? I knew there were other options out there. Maybe I want to host my site again on my own server. Maybe there's a hip new solution I don't even know about yet.

Time to figure out what to do with my site. Well, I didn't even want to think about it much, because I had so much to do and I hadn't even done anything with my site recently. Eventually I got a suspension warning, which I just lol'd at for some reason. 2 days and my account was suspended. Well, whatever. This blog still loaded on the blog.nuggit.nu subdomain, and the main site had almost nothing on it anyway. And a few weeks went by and no shits were given.

I woke up with a start this morning at 10:30 after 6.5 hours of sleep--not enough sleep, so I was grumpy, but I was grumpier at myself. "Am I an idiot?!" I kept thinking as I made a beeline for my computer and opened Filezilla. I never backed up my site before it went down... most of the stuff didn't need backing up, and one project was in git, but a few other folders were important to me on principle. I couldn't connect to FTP. I couldn't log in to my billing account on Arvixe--forgot the password again. Couldn't log into cPanel, didn't think I'd changed the password. I opened live chat support and waited a while.

Here's a boring dump of what happened: I talked with Anoop who took like 10 minutes to say anything, and he told me he'd make a ticket to get my site backed up and any additional questions should be sent as a reply to the support ticket email they'd send me... eventually, and left the conversation. Later I got a ticket email saying "The customer want to take the full backup for his account "nuggo" .Please check and updaet the customer". I got an email back from a different support rep Nivin with a link on how to make a backup through cPanel. I replied I couldn't log into cPanel. Most of the day went by, then another support rep Sameer emailed a polite email saying my account was suspended and I should update my credit card. I replied sheepishly that I wasn't planning to, I just hoped to download my site. He politely lamented the cancellation and offered a backup for $25. I asked if I could pay for a month of service so I can just log in and do it myself. I got notified of a $7 bill from another guy Raghu, I paid it, and then another rep Sreenath let me know I was unsuspended.
**tl;dr I bought another month of Arvixe after a day of customer support confusion/game of hot potato

I'd always liked that Arvixe had 24/7 live chat support. They should keep that. I hear A Small Orange has that too, and I have heard nothing but good things about how helpful their live support is.

Arvixe is also cool because it's got unlimited disk and bandwidth. Sold me. But I hardly use any, so something limited is okay.

While I was waiting for support replies and such, I thought about other ways to retrieve what I wanted from my site. I went to archive.org. The last time it archived my site was in 2009, though.

Seeing what the site looked like back then, I got a funny feeling about it, and went back to 2008 where there were even more snapshots of the site. That was about when I was finishing my senior capstone project for high school - a blog site that people could sign up on, (badly lol) coded entirely from scratch in PHP. One snapshot had managed to catch it in its most finished state, which was still pretty simple, but working enough to impress people at the time. It was a project I'd worked on for almost an entire year, along with administrating the home LAMP server it lived on. I had my share of frustrations, but for the most part I had big passion in that project and loved working on it. I even had a version of the blog just for myself, at ego.nuggit.nu, which was also archived. I even used to have more passion in blogging back then. I posted fun, interesting short things instead of annoyingly long rambles like this. I wasn't as afraid of speaking my mind, whether it made me look silly or not--just because it was me.

I miss that. I used to be cool. (Yet so uncool if you'd met me IRL...)

But I'm not sure if getting all nostalgic about this is productive. Should I back up and be more like I was back then?

I feel like I've ran off the path a little bit. I don't need to backtrack, but I can try to return to the path ahead of where I am. I can get that passion back if I give myself the time to create. Often I lie to myself, but I do have the time.