Emily Reo & Friends Pullman House Show

Emily Reo

Sunday night something magical happened in Pullman. And no, I’m not referring to the storm raging outside (although that added quite a bit to the ambiance). I’m referring to the musical storm of holyfuckthisisamazingness that was raging inside of the newly-dubbed residence Maiden Haven, located on College Hill. The culprits behind this shit-storm of excellence were three very talented and extremely nice individuals playing under the monikers Cuddle Formation, Peace Arrow, and Emily Reo.

The night started out on an awesome, but unassuming, note with a few rounds of Mario Kart 64. Some won. Some lost. Some ended up spending more time stuck in a corner than on the track (names not provided to protect the Mario Kart-inept). While the party of about 20 people was engaged in watching the video game, Noah Klein slowly and quietly set up his equipment for his Cuddle Formation set, which consisted of an electric guitar, looping pedals, and some other technological musical equipment that I haven’t the knowledge to explain. He put it all on a patterned mat and sat in front of it like a gypsy getting prepared to read tarot cards. He stayed there the entire time, bewitching us with his dreamy and unique blend of sounds.

 

Up next was Mitch Myers with his project Peace Arrow. And let me tell you, none of us were prepared for his set. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say my jaw was just hanging open at points during his set. Using a guitar, a looping station, some effect pedals, and a floor tom and high hat that we managed to scrounge up for him; he gave us the most raw, animalistic performance I’ve witnessed to date. Sometimes singing, sometimes shrieking, sometimes doing complicated riffs on his guitar, sometimes banging on the drum like he’s trying to get a part in that Nick Cannon movie Drum Line (don’t tell me you don’t remember it). And apparently God has a new job as a lighting technician because thunder and lightning started raging outside in the middle of his set as if it was cued exclusively for his set. It was intense. To quote my homegirl Erin, “I think we just saw Animal Collective play.”

 

The grand finale of the evening was, of course, the adorable Emily Reo. Most of us at KZUU had been jamming to her album for the entire week before so we knew it was going to be fantastic and she most definitely did not disappoint. With a projection of flowers, stars, and possibly beehives (?) behind her, she delivered an effortless, euphoric, vocoder-filled performance of songs from her latest release Olive Juice, including “Wind”, “Coast”, “Peach”, and her cover of Built to Spill’s “Car”.

 

Despite our desires for “one more song”, the music eventually ended. The party did not. But that’s a story for another time….

Long live Maiden Haven.

– Jasmine

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Emily Reo – Olive Juice

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I don’t know what the average person does on Labor Day but I, personally, spent the day sleeping, doing laundry, and listening to Emily Reo‘s Olive Juice backwards and forwards.

Releasing tomorrow (Sept. 3rd) via Elestial SoundOlive Juice is the debut LP from Florida native Emily Reo that’s been in the works for the past 3 years. Perhaps you heard some of her work previously in the 4-way split tape she released earlier this year with Yohuna, Moonlasso, and Brown Bread, where the tracks Peach and Metal off of Olive Juice were revealed. If this is your first introduction to Reo’s particular brand of woozy electronic dream-pop then, um, you’re welcome.

This album has quickly become one of my favorite “happy” releases of the year so far (I categorize things based on whether they’re happy, sad, or bangable. But that’s just me.) (TMI?). Despite it’s downtempo, hazy beat, the record feels beautiful in a happy, optimistic way. To me, it feels as though it’s coming from someone who has recently fallen into the haze of new love.

This is a big time for Reo because not only is she releasing Olive Juice but she’s moving from the East Coast to Los Angeles (I haven’t the faintest idea why) and decided to do a tour along the way. She’s bringing along her friends Cuddle Formation and Peace Arrow for Tour 64, which started in Boston, to share their new material in an intimate setting (and hold Mario Kart N64 tournaments!).

We’re so fortunate and excited for them to stop HERE IN PULLMAN (that’s right folks, someone’s actually stopping here) to play a small house show at Maiden Haven on September 15th. If you’re interested in attending, all that’s asked is that you donate $2-5 for gas for the band. That’s it.

Once again, you’re welcome.

– Jasmine

Odesza interview + new song

During Springfest 2013, KZUU was able to bring Odesza down to Pullman to perform. Our RPM director Nick got an interview with the duo (comprised of BeachesBeaches & Catacombkid) before they went on stage. (You might remember them from the “Summer’s Gone” album review we did last year.)

We’re here with Harrison and Clay from Odesza. They are still on their tour, I believe, for their Summer’s Gone album. Tell me, how’re you taking in all the hype and the reactions you’re getting from your album so far? No one will have ever expected it but, just talk to me about it?

Harrison: It was definitely completely unexpected, it’s very unreal. We were hoping that like a few blogs liked us, like a few blogs we followed would be interested but yeah the overall response we’ve gotten has been insane, we didn’t know what to expect, we’re still kind of numb to it because it’s so new and we’re still kind of like as much music as we can right now. We’re working on two EPs right now, we’re like twelve songs deep, so just trying to produce and get better and learn more and hopefully play more shows.

Clayton: I mean, it’s a pretty humbling experience, honestly when we started I don’t we’d ever thought we’d get any of the response we did, it’s pretty of outrageous, but everyone’s been really nice, I mean I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, so figured we’d just keep rolling with it, see what happens, make some more music, and hopefully people like it and just keep going, day by day.

Where have you been so far on your tour, has been mainly just the west coast?

H: Yeah we’ve only hit the West coast, and we hit Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico and a few random spots out there but we haven’t gone too far east.

Are there plans for that?

C: As of now they’re in the works.

H: We got some tours that we’re hoping to jump on for people we really like, and we can’t really say anything yet, but if we jump on them that’d be amazing.

Big names?

H: Yes.

Sasquatch. That must have come as a surprise.

H: That’s a dream come true, we can pretty much die after that show is done.

C: Retire and be done.

H: (laughs) yeah we can retire after that.

Was that just like a call that randomly showed up or an email or was this totally out of the blue or was there kind of some work involved in this?

H: Our booking agent Jay at FlowerBooking, he’s the man,

C: He is the man!

H: He really hyped us, he put down his reputation for us, he pushed us really hard for Sasquatch and we surprisingly got it, so we’re just really lucky and Jay has been awesome to us so hopefully people like what we do there.

Where does Odesza go next in terms of music? We know your first album was great, and you can definitely say you’ve definitely set a sound with that, where does it go from here?

H: I’ll let Clay hit this one.

C: So, the newer stuff that we’ve been working on it’s a little different, it’s not too far different, like the whole sound design and the process of which we go about making the music is pretty much the same, but we’ve been influenced by so much new music in like I’d say the past six months that you can’t go on making music without being influenced by what you’re listening to, so it’ll definitely be a different take on a kind of genre and style that we’ve already kind of solidified. I mean when you’re making electronic music the process is kind of what defines your style. How you go about making music is what defines how the end product sounds and how what you start with, what you build off of, is all very important to the whole thing so we’ve kept that same but kind of taken ideas and new facets of that and kind of just run with it.

H: Yeah, as to what to expect…as far as up-tempo tracks, there’s going to be a lot more up-tempo because once you go touring your realize how people react to stuff especially the up-tempo dancier stuff. I mean people come to the shows most likely so they can have a good time and dance and hang out, and the up-tempo stuff, you see the reaction. I think overall our sound is just getting bigger. We’re trying to add way more layers, make it thicker, just try to get better as musicians in general and just beef up everything really.

You mentioned influences. Were there really many for the first album and now? Can you shoot out some names for example and other things?

H: Oh yeah.

C: I mean, anything out of Motown era, like that soul influence, massive.

H: You’re going to hear a lot of that.

C: Four Tet was a big influence for me for example, all his stuff has been absolutely amazing. Gold Panda, I could go on for a while.

H: Lapalux, the new Bonobo record, it’s phenomenal.

Oh my god, isn’t it good?

H: I’ve been playing it nonstop in my car. Literally, we study that music. We sit there and go “okay so he must have made that clap through like…” it’s kind of ridiculous. Any one of our friends hate us while we listen to music. Flume, his album was incredible. We’ve just been like sifting through soundcloud constantly and making beats after we listen, so it’s just kind of like we take what we really love about other songs and try to incorporate things we like.

Where are you guys actually from? Because there’s rumors of like Bellingham, and Everett and Edmonds thrown into the mix.

H: I don’t know about Edmonds, but he’s from Bainbridge Island and I’m from Redmond, Washington. Both of us went to Western [Washington University] which is in Bellingham and that’s where we met, and that’s where we made half of Summer’s Gone and other half was us just bouncing around from our houses and just kind of finishing it all up.

Cool. We at KZUU really like the more Northwest the better.

H: (laughs)

C: Yup. Pride. Through and through.

Odesza, thank you so much for this little bit, and I wish you guys all the best have a great show –

H: hopefully it goes well

 – I’m sure it will.

The show was a fantastic event, with vibe unlike any other show that weekend. What was especially nice was the performance of many new tracks, one of which was released shortly after the show, specifically their remix of Beat Connection’s “Saola” which is a fantastic summer tune perfect for the hazy warm weather.

KZUU Lucky 2013 Show Review

Lucky was over spring break, and a few KZUU DJs made their way there, and have come up with a review for you, featuring contributions from Nick Siler, Derek Lombardo, Blake Nakatsu & Spencer Stumpf.

Fred V & Grafix

Despite stuck with a terrible time slot (8-9PM) and not the most easily found location they did a fantastic job weaving their way through a mix of  mainly balls-out but also some of the more liquid vibe of drum & bass. When the intensity was turned up, one couldn’t help getting the feeling the mantra was “well, if they can’t find us, they are damn well going to hear us” and trying to drown out the other stages. What was extra neat was them coming out and hanging out and chatting with fans after their set, including a neat interview with Derek. –Nick

Derek & Grafix

My favorites of the night were Fred V and Grafix, playing the very first set of the night they held nothing back. Any duo or dj that opens with such a ferocious doubledrop like they did earns my everlasting respect. They interacted phenomenally with the crowd (all 12 of us) and were such a pleasure to meet after. I thought the two played the best set I’ve heard in my entire concert going career, and was able to tell them I thought they were better than Andy C in September which got some surprised looks! – Derek

Ed Rush & Optical

Holding nothing back is the central aspect of this set, with high paced drums and throttling bass vibrating your eyes out of your sockets. Great set. – Nick

Ed Rush & Optical were a fantastic contrast to the young blood of the DNB with the deep and dark sounds they’re so known for. They slammed the audience with such a relentless onslaught of the big guns, breaking out Noisia, Phace and The Prototypes notably, playing songs I’ve wanted to hear live for quite a while. – Derek

Torro Torro

Unlike Freaknight 2012, my friends and I only waited about 15-20 minutes to get into WaMu. We walked into the main stage right when Torro Torro dropped the Killagraham remix of Go Deep. We went off! Quite the entrance, I must say, because we had been debating all afternoon whether or not Torro Torro would drop their own remix or Killagraham’s. Torro Torro went off with their signature high energy and hard beats. I had never seen them before. Although they were early, I was pleasantly surprised to see the people who came to see them seemed to be grooving just as hard as people would later in the night. Seeing Torro Torro first off the bat set me in a good groove for the rest of the event. – Blake

The M Machine

After Torro Torro, The M Machine came right on at the main stage. I had seen The M Machine once before at EDC 2012. All three of them were there and they played a bunch of their new stuff off of their most recent EP, The Metropolis Pt. 2. They kept it pretty calm and groovy with some of their more alternative stuff for the first part of their set and their visuals were full of awesome illustrations sticking to their comic book styled album art. As they started to pick it up, it was time for me to go over to the trance stage to see Audien and later on BT, so I didn’t get to see the end of The M Machine’s set.  – Blake

Andy Caldwell

The entire set didn’t grab me at any point, lacking passion or interest throughout. – Nick

Audien

I arrived at the trance stage and danced through Andy Caldwell. Caldwell had a decent set but nothing that struck me too well. After Andy Caldwell, Audien came on and killed it. I got sucked into his set and it just flew by. He has powerful chords over pretty constant loud kicks. I was really hoping he would have played The Reach but regardless his set was thoroughly enjoyable and I was grooving through the whole thing. – Blake

Though more exciting than Andy Caldwell’s set, I still found it hard to get into and honestly feel a thing from the music. – Nick

Camo & Krooked

Camo and Krooked was, as I expected, unlike anything I’d ever seen or heard. Having two DJ’s mixing on two CDJ’s a piece was the recipe for an absolutely massive set. The two teased tunes, doubledropped and tripledropped like it was nothing. The set wasn’t my favorite, as it was more of a pounding than a journey like Fred V and Grafix’s before, but it was truly something to behold. – Derek

Delta Heavy

Quite frankly, I wish I was here for all of their set, as opposed to when I couldn’t stand Audien anymore. For the lack of better words, this set was KILLING it. Awesome. – Nick

Delta Heavy was my most anticipated performer on the night, but also the biggest letdown. He played an incredibly diverse set with some fantastic tunes, but was mixed incredibly poorly and left me rather unsatisfied (although slightly humored watching armies of bassheads trying to dance to drum and bass) – Derek

Nadia Ali

Nadia Ali’s proves once again that her voice is the best in electronic music, and has been ever since her IIO days (which she did do a rendition of as well.) Best moment? A cover of The Police’s “Roxanne.” – Nick

Zomboy

Zomboy was my favorite show possibly of all time. I’m more of a bass heavy, energetic set type of guy, so I can always appreciate some bass. The reason why Zomboy stuck out from the others like a sore thumb was because the flow of his set was flawless. It was constant energy all the way through, transitioning from one huge song to the next like it was effortless. There were definitely no signs of stopping for the UK Skrillex “sound-alike.” – Spencer

BT

This was undoubtedly the most disappointing show of the night. This is BT, arguably America’s first electronic music star. He pioneered a new wave of trance, as well as a new intricate method of production that was beyond so many other talents. However his entire show consists of him playing music that quite simply wasn’t his, let along similar to his “sound.” (Examples including Dada Life, and a variety of other overplayed electro house tracks that can be heard at any house party nowadays, but more so last year.) Personal song count? 3. Flaming June (or rather, a sample interrupted by an electro house beat), his collab with Tiesto “Love Comes Again” and another song, I think. At that point, I wasn’t paying attention anymore. It wasn’t trance, let alone BT’s sound. At this point in the evening, I had been at the “Trance & Progressive” stage for about just under 4 hours, and had heard absolutely no trance, the closest being a vocal rendition by Nadia Ali. The expectation was solely that BT would bring this entirely, but, to but it straight-forwadly, he did not and played other peoples electro house, perhaps just to appease the crowd and sound that had been played so far at Lucky. One neat thing I did notice was the large numbers of “long not in college anymore” couples who I presume were old fans of BTs. However, I’m guessing they too were disappointed in the song choice, as about halfway through, there were none. But still an interesting thing to note. – Nick

It was a difficult decision, for me at least, whether or not to see Pretty Lights for my 3rd time or see BT. I was really trying to get tranced that night and BT has been my recent favorite but its always a pleasure to see Pretty Lights. I decided to see BT since there’s not many chances for me to do so and I’m sad to say that his set didn’t live up to his name. I was expecting a set full of ridiculously good trance but it was quite the opposite. He played songs along the lines of Language, Kick out the epic, and some SHM and they’re all irrelevant. If I’m skipping Pretty Lights to see BT, I would have liked to have seen more of BT’s original stuff. It was quite disappointing. – Blake

Arty

After BT, I went back to the main stage and caught up on some real big house with Arty. Arty was playing big airy chords of trance and some really deep house drops. I loved it personally. I got locked in and his set through out was enjoyable. – Blake

Pretty Lights

Pretty Lights to me was just mediocre. It’s not that he was bad, he just wasn’t impressive. This was my third time seeing him and his Lucky 2013 performance was definitely the least favorite of the three. Not sure if it was because of the different stage (versus having his usual light city) or if it was just not the same vibes I got from the first two times.  – Spencer

Kyau & Albert

Good set mixing electro house (at the trance stage again) with some progressive house, as well as a bit of minimal for a hot sec. I liked this set a lot. – Nick

High Contrast

This was easily my favourite show of the night, because for a variety of reasons. Actual mixing, actual drum & bass, and the MC was damn good at getting the crowd hyped. High contrast transcended over drum & bass, jungle, drumstep, a little dubstep, as well as a hip-hop beat here and there. The energy was continuous from start to finish, and never did it feel lacking passion. This made the night so worth it, fitting to be High Contrast, and extra fitting to be the last show of the evening too. – Nick

High Contrast closed the night out, and while I didn’t see too much of him, he played quite a nice selection of older jungle tunes which was a perfect way to wind down after such frenzied dancing. – Derek

I don’t normally listen to dnb but High Contrasts sound was awesome. It was a good mix of banging bass and liquid drums. – Blake

Showtek

I had to leave and go to Showtek after a little bit back at the main stage though. Showtek is known for their hard style but their live set consisted mostly of pretty hard house. It was a good way to get any energy I had left out before the end of the night. One of the guys of Showtek had the whole crowd kneel down low for Cannon Ball and when he dropped it we all jumped. It was unconventional but I thought it was a good touch to the set to incorporate the crowd. Their last track was a brand new one. It was a mixture of their hard style and some trap. – Blake

Final Thoughts

Drum and bass, drum and bass, and more drum and bass! I was in complete heaven at Lucky 2013 because USC seemingly finally answered the call for a drum and bass heavy lineup, and boy did they come through! Booking the Hospitality tour was such a fantastic idea I can’t even begin to describe the quality of the djs on that bill. The bass stage was tuned to perfection and very, very loud making listening to DNB live such an incredible experience. I commend USC on their dedication to making their fans happy and boy did they make me one happy guy with a whopping five drum and bass artists on the night, all performing admirably and in some cases absolutely blowing me away. The overall production on the night was as usual very well done, and I staggered out the door at 3:45 a very tired yet satisfied partygoer. – Derek

These shows for me have always been about the energy. It’s not about the beautiful people that surround you, it’s not even about the lights, it’s about the music and how it moves you. Lucky 2013 in my honest opinion has been the best show USC has put together since last year’s Paradiso.  I think it’s safe to say Zomboy had one of the most impressive and energetic shows I have ever seen. Personally i’m more of a fan of the heavier music, so this was right up my alley. The bass stage however had issues with the power going out a few times, especially during Bare Noize and Delta Heavy. Although it wasn’t completely devastating to the artist’s sets, it was still frustrating to both performer and audience. Besides that, Lucky was a very well rounded show and it only gets better and better. – Spencer

I didn’t know what to expect from my first USC event, and in the grand scheme of things, I am impressed and really pleased at the whole management of the evening. To put it frankly, the shows that were good, were absolutely phenomenal. Those that weren’t  were beyond disappointing. Fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons, and result in an overall brilliant evening! – Nick

First I want to thank USC for making this night possible. Lucky was a great way to spend my Friday night! Besides a couple disappointments on the artists’ side of things, the whole night went flawless for myself. I appreciated the lineup mainly because there was a strong balance of quality artists through out the evening. There wasn’t a particular time during the night where there was one definite artist that I wanted to see. But at the same time I had no problem with missing any of the artists that I did have to sacrifice to see another. Overall, I had a blast at Lucky 2013. By the end I was exhausted from moving the whole night. There wasn’t a set that I wasn’t grooving at. Although I didn’t get sucked into as many sets as I thought I would, I got to see a bunch of artists that I thought I wouldn’t normally get to see which was a good thing. Thank you to USC for a fun and complete night. – Blake

Onuinu Concert + Album Review

It was not Starfucker that caught my interest the most during their show on Monday the 22nd at the Belltower in downtown Pullman. Instead, it was the shy, humble opening act Onuinu that definitely made the biggest impression on me. Though slow at the start, Onuinu really got into their performance quickly, feeding off of the crowd which responded so well to their sound. Few people knew what to expect, I certainly didn’t, but I think it may have been that which made Onuinu’s performance that brilliant.

A perfect electro-pop album. So many try for it, some achieve it. Onuinu is one of them, and they have done so very quickly too with “Mirror Gazer”. Every track on here brings a sense of “aaaahhhh” to it as it starts to wash over you. Dorian’s voice is pristine, the guitar is slick, the sounds Jeremy produced are crisp and the ever so present synths are there to impress. One vibe I definitely got from listening to this album, was Tycho blended with Boards of Canada with (at least with most songs) a more danceable drum beat. (A notable exception would be the fantastic “Forever” song, which calms things down with a very mesmerizing essence.)

EVERY track (save the shorter intermission-style-experimental tracks) on this fantastic album will get you moving and smiling. It’s hard not to enjoy the music and just simply feel good listening to it all. The beats are fantastic, and a very impressive situation, leaving you wanting for more, as you repeat the album again for the third time or so. Definitely check this album out. It is definitely one of the best of recent times.

– Nick

“Ice Palace”

“Happy Home”

Full Album for streaming

 

Concert review – The Lighthouse & The Whaler

 

This weekend I made the daunting five hour journey home to Seattle, as apparently many of you did as well based on the number of cars on WA-26 coming back Sunday night. But unlike them, I didn’t traverse to the Westside to attend the football game. I did, however, attend a show at a new underground club in Seattle called Barboza. It’s located underneath Neumos and looks a lot like what I’d imagine a 1940’s cruise ship looks like. Which is awesome because I freaking love cruises. I’m a lazy traveler so they really work for me. ANYWAY, let’s talk about the music shall we?

The openers were Seattle band James Germain & The Grey Gray Days. I’ve seen them a few times here and there in Seattle and they put on a good show but who I really wanna talk about is The Lighthouse & The Whaler. I wasn’t very familiar with the band before the show but my friend loved them and insisted I go. From the second the first note played they were bursting with energy! Every single person (which sadly was only about 15-20 people) had their complete attention on the band, which is made up of an attractive group (we can act like that doesn’t matter, but let’s get real) who can really play and play with their whole hearts. Their jangly upbeat melodies remind me a ton of Freelance Whales. Since this is my first concert review I’ve ever done, it’s difficult for me to know how to describe the feeling I got when I saw them but I’d liken it to when I saw The Head and The Heart at the Crocodile years ago before they blew up. Like I had just witnessed something special. Something I simultaneously wanted to share with the world and also keep my secret. But that’s selfish to keep it to myself so this is my contribution to helping the world discover this amazing band. You’re welcome.

(This song’s FREE! Download it if you know what’s good for you)

– Jasmine