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Lollapalooza 2015 : Day 1 : The Weeknd

August 1st, 2015 by Giselle
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Guess you can be late to the party if you’re the one actually bringing it. And while the majority of the crowd swam downstream for Sir Paul McCartney’s classics, a mostly-under-30 crowd packed together to modern dance to Toronto’s very own Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, who showed up over 15 minutes to bust out with “High For This” as he grooved around the stage in some Yeezy Boosts.

Unlike the confusion he spread in 2012 when he addressed the Lollapalooza as “Coachella” (eek!), the next hour had The Weeknd firmly planted and present in Chicago (which he called out over and over again) while spanning his dance-inducing/urban-feeling/sexy-raunchy set of songs like “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls,” “Often,” “The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,”"Earned It,” and “Love Me Harder” …more like a party than a concert.

Tesfaye also tempted the crowd with his awesome features on Drake’s “Crew Love” and the Ty Dolla $ign’s “Or Nah”. Telling the crowd he never does encores, The Weeknd ended his Lollapalooza with a sing-along of “Wicked Games” owning the main stage with his original mix of soul, street, and style.

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Not going to Drake? Not to worry, Stefan Poncé’s got what you need

May 25th, 2015 by Giselle
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“Stefan Poncé has given Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Childish Gambino their biggest hits,” says THE FADER. The Grammys agreed in 2015, granting Poncé, only 24 years old, double-nominations for the Warner Chappell signee’s production skills.

Poncé most recently lent his magic touch to producing the new, cinematic, larger-than-life Kanye West / Vic Mensa track “U Mad,” (listen here) which West and Mensa debuted this spring at a surprise show in London, breaking the Internet with its sonic fury.

Now, the native Chicagoan is stepping out from behind the boards and into the spotlight with his debut solo show “Stefan Poncé & Friends Live” happening Friday, May 29th at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago.

Poncé, known for drawing talent and tastemakers like Vashtie, Hannibal Buress and Chance the Rapper to his popular residency at East Room, will be turning up the volume at the Bottom Lounge, and, for the first time, giving a chance for the 17+ crowd to participate in the action.

“I love the New York party scene and I love how very popular DJs have their own parties and I wanted to bring that atmosphere to Chicago,” says Poncé. “I feel like I cater to kids who are nerds deep inside and don’t want to admit to it.”

Catch Poncé before at this intimate venue before the secret’s out.

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE for Stefan Ponce & Friends Live @ BOTTOM LOUNGE
w/ OG Webbie, Monte Booker & Elias Abid
May 29th Doors at 7pm/Show 8pm : 17+ / $10

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New Works Joffrey Ballet

May 1st, 2015 by Giselle
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In Creases, The Joffrey Ballet. Photo by: Cheryl Mann

This weekend, the legendary Joffrey wraps up a melody of modern ballet performances known collectively as “New Works,” a title befitting and as understated, earnest and open-ended as the dancing itself.

The major standout is In Creases, choreographed by much-buzzed-about 27-year-old New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck. With music composed by Philip Glass, In Creases (pictured above) uses fluid and sharp geometric lines and patterns to play out a dance puzzle that is truly transcendent, fresh and unpredictable.

Some may know Peck as the dancer who’s collaborated masterfully with Sufjan Stevens (see our writeup on that here) on two pieces, Year Of the Rabbit and Everywhere We Go.

Other performances in “New Works” are Liturgy by Christopher Wheeldon, Evenfall by Nicolas Blanc, and the finale Incantations by Val Caniparoli (pictured below), which ends in a graceful, powerful, twisting duet of dance and desire.

Incantations, The Joffrey Ballet. Photo by: Cheryl Mann

You can purchase tickets to see “New Works” here.

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Lollapalooza 2015 Preview

April 4th, 2015 by Giselle
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The headliners have been announced.

The lineup is up on the website.

Tickets for Lollapalooza are sold the f out, and that’s just crazy!

If you are one of the lucky ones to have secured your spot for the legendary 3-day music festival in Chicago’s Grant Park, here are my recommendations for bands and music that must not be missed. (More to be announced, I’m sure.)

P.S., For all you ballers, VIP + Platinum packages still available here.

. A$AP Rocky
. Alabama Shakes
. Chet Faker
. Cold War Kids
. Delta Spirit
. Father John Misty
. Flying Lotus
. Gary Clark Jr.
. Hot Chip
. Kid Cudi
. Lord Huron
. Sam Smith
. TV On The Radio
. Twin Peaks
. The War on Drugs
. The Weeknd
. Wild Belle

Image via MusicForGood

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New José González video + tour dates

January 30th, 2015 by Giselle
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José González has a new video for his upcoming single “Leaf Off / The Cave” from his forthcoming album Vestiges & Claws (due out Feb 17 on Mute). He/s also just announced some choice North American tour dates. Having interviewed and seen González perform on stage many times, I can tell you this is a show you don’t want to miss.

04-06 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
04-07 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
04-10 New York, NY – Webster Hall
04-11 Boston, MA – Paradise
04-12 Montreal, Quebec – Corona Theatre
04-13 Toronto, Ontario – Phoenix Concert Theatre
04-14-15 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
04-16 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
04-18 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
04-20 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
04-22 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
04-24 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
04-25 Vancouver, British Columbia – Imperial
04-27 San Francisco, CA – Bimbo’s 365 Club
04-29-30 Los Angeles, CA – The Regent

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Lolla 2014: In Photos

August 4th, 2014 by Giselle
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Above: Chromeo killed the main stage. It’s really weird to see your friend famous, but couldn’t happen to a better guy (Dave1)…

Lolla 2014 was MAJ. But don’t take my word for it, check out this visual wrap-up:

As a die-hard Patriots fan, the Wifi password in the Press Tent had me like wha??

Backstage in the Press Tent artists get interviewed in cabanas and journalists do a lot of snacking on KIND bars…

Best Style of the Lollapalooza goes to a 7-year-old I met backstage, Estevan. His mom told me he already has his own clothing line.

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Lolla 2014: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

August 2nd, 2014 by Giselle
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Day 1 Lollapalooza 2014 is done, but not without making its mark. Most memorably, Marshall Mathers made up for his 2011 Lolla flop in a majorly energetic show that flexed an awesome catalog of crowd favorites like “White America,” to “The Way I am,” and “The Real Slim Shady” to a legendary finale performance of “Lose Yourself.”

Of course, it didn’t hurt to have help with mega-talented Royce da 5’9″ and some up-and-coming singer named Rihanna, who joined Em on “Love the Way You Lie,” “Stan” and my favorite, “The Monster.”

The overriding feeling in the crowd (bathed in red light above) was obsessive appreciation for this music that seemed to lift up not just Mathers, who’s fought a tough (and now come through), a highly-personally, publicly-documentated battle to get sober, but all his fans who embraced Em in this new, fresh and empowered place—and have created their own memories around his persona.
When Em belted out “It feels so good to be back!” at the beginning of “Square Dance,” the entire crowd could feel just how good it was. Check out the full set list here.

Other highlights were, catching up with Perry Farrell, who I’d last seen when I interviewed him for URB almost ten years ago.

The Shepard Fairey Lollapalooza Art Show called “The Provocateurs”—not to be missed, click here for more info and add it to your To Do List.


And of course, gotta end with an awesome, hazy set from my girls WARPAINT.

On to DAY 2!

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Lollapalooza 2014 Must-See Music

July 31st, 2014 by Giselle
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Lollapalooza is nigh once again with promises to turn up the August heat here in Chicago this weekend. It also happens to be the summer music festival’s 10th anniversary in Grant Park, congratulations to Perry Farrell for continuing to cultivate a genuine passion for the music festival phenomenon he helped to found—and sharing that passion with all us fans.

As it is Lolla Eve, without further delay—in the Imaginary Frend tradition—I bring you my music picks (some obvious, some more obscure) to keep the weekend up…

P.S., stay tuned for dispatches from the media tent, style pics, daily wrap-ups, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Here. We. GO!

FRIDAY, DAY 1

SURE THING: WARPAINT, 3:30 PM.
Anyone who reads my blog (or shoot, knows me) knows my love for this band. I actually fell for them live at Lollapalooza 2010, which is a rare occurrence and has only happened with one other band in Giselle history, Blonde Redhead. Warpaint’s live show is drawn from their collective chemistry and their songs just soar on stage. Be there.

BLOOD ORANGE, 4:45 PM
Like Solange’s “Losing You”? Then you will love the writing + production mastermind behind the song, Great Britain’s Blood Orange. Dude’s dope. Go see for yourself.

BROKEN BELLS, 6:30PM
Can’t go wrong with The Shins sound meeting a Danger mouse’s dirty soul samples.

WILD CARD: EMINEM, 8:30PM
I love my Michigan homie, however his previous Lollapalooza performance was a big let down (read my brief recap from back then here). I am willing to give him another chance, but it better not be another phoned-in repeat. Just sayin’.

SATURDAY, DAY 2

MUST SEE: PHOSPHORESCENT, 2:15PM
Beautiful music, enough said.

ALTERNATE: PARQUET COURTS, 1:45PM
Good times, fun times.

DANCE ALTERNATE: Z-TRIP, 2PM
“Met her at Coachella / I went to see Jigga / she went to see Z Trip / Perfect.” Okay, it’s not Coachella and Frank Ocean isn’t playing this year, but Z-Trip is the real deal.

GROUPLOVE, 4:45PM
This is a risk for both of us, but we have an hour to kill before Nas.

NO BRAINER/LEGEND: NAS, 5:45PM
I mean, NAS.

No BRAINER/LEGEND: OUTKAST, 8:45PM
I mean, OUTKAST.

DANCE ALTERNATIVES: CALVIN HARRIS, 8:45PM OR CUT/COPY, 9PM
If you don’t like rap, then I guess you can go see one of these. Actually, if you don’t like rap, don’t read this blog! byeeeee peaceeeee

SUNDAY, DAY 3

WHITE DENIM, 2:15PM
Possibly, maybe.

CAGE THE ELEPHANT, 4PM
Not such a huge fun of the records, but heard live show goes off.

SURE THING: CHROMEO, 4:45PM
Dave 1 is my Chromie from back-in-the-day when he was the rap editor at Vice and I wrote for him (see here), and I am proud to say Chromeo bring the dance party wherever they go. They also bring the dashikis and the black leather. YASSS.

CHILDISH GAMBINO, 6:45PM
So on the fence about Donald Glover, but love some of his songs so much that I would go to support. Bonus support points for his character on “Girls.”

WILD CARD: CHANCE THE RAPPER, 6:45PM
Last time Chance played Lolla, it was a proper sh*t show. If you can see anything through the THC fog and general wildness, could be good.

DANCE ALTERNATIVE: SKRILLEX, 8:30PM
I anticipate that this scene is gonna be like Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” film come to life. Not necessarily a bad thing.

WHERE THE 30+ CROWD WILL BE: KINGS OF LEON, 8:15PM
ZZZzzzzz. Past our bed time.

FULL WEEKEND SCHEDULE HERE. STAY SAFE + HAVE FUN.

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Dov Charney x Terry Richardson

June 24th, 2014 by Giselle
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These two guys are not having a good month. Notorious for some time, American Apparel founder Dov Charney, got the boot from the AA board this week while legendary photographer Terry Richardson currently graces the cover of New York Magazine with the word “Perverse” nearby.

Both these fellas share a high skieve factor, but pop culture would concede, there’s real (and relevant) genius lurking behind their creations. As we well know, American Apparel, basically a cotton line, took the GAP’s “basic clothes” model and cranked it to hip as hell with a higher price point. Between the AA advertising campaigns, store layout, typeface, and “Made in LA” elements, a true brand for modern times exploded.

Sure, Dov Charney is actually a privileged prep-school kid (read the gross reason he made a name for himself at Choate on NY MAG), and most girls would never want to share an elevator with him alone, but on the merit of vision for American Apparel, dude is MAJOR.

Mega-talented Richardson has been mired by recent flurry of accusations about sexual abuse on his photo sets, so it’s hard to see past the explicit image he embodies and perpetuates and not believe it’d transcend real life. Richardson though has clearly influenced brands like Vice and American Apparel, and photographers like Ryan McGinley (who, hey, was the youngest photographer to ever show at the Whitney—validate that), so can Richardson’s work be separated by some pretty disturbing accusations? It’s starting to feel a little dirty in here, and not in a good way…

Both Charney and Richardson are major pop culture influencers within the realm of provocative image making. It’s the rest of their images and public persona that make them so unlikable and ripe for public skewering. Does that negate the bigger picture or take away from their contributions to pop culture? As the Washington Post asks us, “Are the two most notorious men in fashion finally getting their comeuppance?” You decide.

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Stream the new Blonde Redhead “No More Honey”

June 17th, 2014 by Giselle
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Blonde Redhead’s new album Barragán out Sept. 2…can’t wait.

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