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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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The seven best bands I saw at SXSW

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese

Thousands of bands convened in Austin, Texas last week for SXSW. Of the 20 or so bands I set out to see during my three days at the conference, I managed to see about half of them. While many attendees go with a list of bands they most want to see; there’s an aimless serendipity that happens at SXSW, when you’re heading down the street to see one band, it’s often that you wind up at a completely different venue seeing another. One is redirected by texts from friends on their way to see a hotly buzzed band, or a quick swing into a coffee shop will lead you to running into folks who tell you about a not-to-be-missed acoustic performance at a hotel ballroom, or a potential surprise guest appearance by a superstar (like Miley Cyrus at the Fader Fort), that you’ll wait an hour in line for at a venue to see. My hit list this year was driven not by serendipity (save for the disastrous, yet awesome Miley appearance), and more by focus to see the handful of bands that I wanted to see in my limited time at SXSW. Here were my favorites: Continue reading →