Monday, July 21, 2008

BLVD: Austin City Limits Battle of the Bands

The Sound and The Jury

Help us win a spot at The Austin City Limits Music Festival!!

Round One Voting Deadline is August 22

It is all about the votes!! We don't move to round two without your help now! Use all your e-mail addresses and ask your friends to vote...we need your help!

Click here to vote now!!!!

Thanks for your support and friends, please pass this on!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Entheon and Kinetic Playground

Chicago, IL July 12, 2008

It was my birthday weekend, and what better way to celebrate than take a trip to Chicago to perform for the first time there with BLVD!

A little backstory: This past year at Burning Man, we were fortunate enough to be invited to play a show at Entheon Village... they had built an incredible dome, the largest one on the playa, visible from miles around in Black Rock City. The enormous white metal structure was composed of these enormous interlocking polygons, some covered with screens displaying ever-changing beautiful graphic projections. The space was energized with people when we took the stage on Friday night, and our MC Souleye was also camping with them. About halfway into our set, after performing many of our instrumental tracks, Souleye pulled up on Abraxas - Entheon's gigantic fire-breathing bronze double-decker mutant vehicle! He jumped on the stage with incredible fiery energy and rocked the rest of the set with us. Magikkal...

Flash-forward!!!! So it was wonderful to be invited to Entheon's hometown after having such a great experience with their crew this past summer. Kinetic Playground is a sleek venue across the street from the famous Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, with shiny corrugated metal walls and subdued lighting. The Entheon crew did a fantastic job decorating every square inch of wall space with beautiful psychedelic tapestries - some of which I had remembered seeing in their dome from the summer. We were also honored to share the stage with MO2 and Ana Sia, rounding out an all-BayArea night (2000 miles from San Francisco) LOL!

MO2 opened the show, and it was great to see them perform again, after having just seen them before our set the previous weekend at High Sierra. We took the stage after they were done and had a lot of fun playing for the Entheon crew... they definitely know how to get down! Souleye was kind enough to point out that it was my birthday more than once on the mic! THEN... what better way to celebrate the completion of another lap around the sun than to groove to Ana Sia doing her thing surrounded by the beautiful people of Entheon Village.

The Kinetic Playground is actually one of the only venues in Chicago to serve alcohol until 5am, something I'm not used to out in California.... so combined with the fact that it was my birthday, it was a winning combination, and the Patron was flowing until the sun came up. Local DJ Cringer finished out the night with a nice dubstep set, always appropriate for the wee hours....

Thanks again to the Entheon crew for inviting BLVD to play Chicago, and I look forward to seeing them again this summer!

By: Tripp Bains

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

High Sierra Music Festival

Quincy, CA July 4-5, 2008

The best thing about going to High Sierra was that there were rumors it wouldn't even happen! Tons of fires were burning throughout California, roads were intermittently closed, and the fire department was actually using the fairgrounds as a headquarters until right before the festival began! It's a testament to the warriors who fight those fires that we even had a High Sierra...

That being said, it was great to never hear "it's cancelled" and we rolled in on Friday afternoon, July 4th and set up camp. After catching the end of MO2's set, we set up on the Shady Grove stage as the sun was setting. It was great to see so many people make their way over to the stage to see us play... the weather was perfect! Dylan's little nephew Jack even busted out some dance moves. As it got dark, it was harder to see all the people, but the word afterwards was that there had never been that many people at that stage before! And... the dust cloud from all the dancing was pretty intense... I had a great time rawking out.

Managed to see the end of EOTO's set with Lynx sitting in, along with the Spam Allstars late night in the Tulsa --- the same room our late would be in the following evening. After kickin' it with the good people at Javagogo for a bit, got a little rest...

The next morning had a chance to catch Lynx play solo with Jamie Janover before napping a bit. Did our loadin and soundcheck, then caught the end of Buckethead's set. The dude can do weird stuff with a guitar, that's all i can say... he's a monster.

Our set time was listed as "1:45 - ?". Ahh the dubious question mark. After talking with people about previous years' late night shows, it became clear that many people might expect us to play until dawn. While a typical set for us is about 90 minutes, we put a set together that definitely pushed the envelope. We like to hit people hard and not draw things out too much... The crowd was full of energy from the get-go, and it was awesome to see a lot of familiar faces from Javagogo right in front. Also had the pleasure of having Lynx sit in with us for a song and jam with Souleye a bit on the mic.

My favorite moment was at the end of the set... the place was HOT. I went thru more towels than i can remember, and that was with multiple fans blasting on stage. I'm sure the crowd was exhausted too, but the adrenaline was carrying us through. We played "Stamina" and I picked out this girl in the crowd, jumping up and down, fist in the air, eyes closed... I'm thinking to myself "I'm about to fall over, how can she still be jumping in the air?!" but as the lyric goes... "Move like you
never have before, here's some stamina!" It was seriously powerful.

Got lots of compliments seeing people the next day. Thanks to everyone who I had a chance to talk with... we had a great time!

By: Tripp Bains