If you live in Los Angeles, the Knitting Factory Entertainment is locally known as having venues for a variety of music, comedy and special events.
Since its inception in 1987, Knitting Factory Entertainment (“KFE” or the “Company”) has grown from a single New York City venue into a comprehensive leader in the music and entertainment business. Today, the Company’s operations include venue ownership and management, festivals and events, touring, artist management, recorded music production and distribution, and other initiatives around the Knitting Factory brand and audience. Spanning across the U.S. with offices and venues in New York, Spokane, Boise, and Los Angeles, KFP (Knitting Factory Presents) is active across the United States in all markets.
Knitting Factory Entertainment has their own newsletter to which I subscribe. Recently, they had an update specifically featuring Coachella as a headline in the newsletter. The newsletter is created under the auspices of Henry Eshelman (Platform Media Group). This past week, the KFE newsletter came out with not one but two headline articles revolving around Coachella. I was able to snag these pieces as guest posts written by Henry Eshelman, Sabrina Zeile, and Saeli Eshelman. I would like to thank all three for allowing me to share the content as guest posts. Why would I do that? One feature is about 5 musical groups or singer/songwriters that are flying under the radar. They aren’t headliners, but they will be someday soon! The second piece is a preview of select Coachella parties which will run on Sunday!
Coachella Artist Preview
by Saeli Eshelman
The last edition of our newsletter featured a SXSW preview, intended to highlight some of the up-and-coming acts attendees should catch amongst the 2,000+ band lineup. This week we will be previewing our suggested Coachella artists, and previewing Coachella is a little bit different. Not only is the festival smaller (in terms of the sheer number of acts in the lineup), it has quickly become a big name festival. Fewer and fewer people are going to catch the small, undiscovered acts, as fewer and fewer are booked in favor of the more popular, but no less worthy, sets. For this reason, most Coachella lineup reviews and suggestions feature can’t-miss shows from artists who could cost as much as a whole Coachella ticket to see solo, or are very well-known within the indie circuit. We absolutely love these acts ourselves, but we thought we’d shake things up over here this year and preview our top five artists that are still relatively under-the-radar and more than deserve your support. (Two of these artists have already been featured in our newsletter just this year, and we will utilize excerpts of our previous pieces, as indicated by quotes.)
“Chicano Batman is an L.A.-based band but is known for a less local style of music: a hybrid of tropicalia, psychedelia, and soul. Tropicalia is a style that originated in Brazil and fused more avant-garde sounds of rock and roll with traditional Brazilian (and thereby African) rhythms. The era of soul and jam-style psychedelia upon which they also draw was concurrent with tropicalia, in the ’60s and ’70s. All of this combined gives their sound a retro feel, but through a distinctly Latin framework. Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2010, they have drummed up attention when opening for major acts like the Alabama Shakes and Jack White. Along the way, they have released another two albums, an EP, and a couple of singles, their success seemingly cemented when they played Coachella in 2015. Their third album _Freedom Is Free_ was released earlier this year on their new label ATO Records, so catch their new tunes and distinct sound” at their second Coachella showing.
Mitski is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter and indie rocker. As a child she moved frequently; when her mother was pregnant, she lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but wanted her unborn daughter to have a Japanese passport and flew to Japan to give birth. As a baby, Mitski moved back to central Africa and then shuffled between a number of Army bases (in Malaysia and China to name a few) before landing in Turkey when she was 18. She ended up graduating high school early and turned to songwriting as a way to direct her attention. Her music is a reflection of her cultural upbringing and her inability to enmesh herself in any one experience: “half Japanese, half American, but not fully either.” She eventually moved to New York where she transferred to SUNY Purchase to study at their Conservatory of Music; for her junior and senior projects, she created her first two albums, _Lush_ and _Retired from Sad, New Career in Business_, released in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The latter record featured a full 60-piece orchestra that drained her but piqued interest in her work. This exhaustion influenced her critically acclaimed third album, _Bury Me at Makeout Creek_, which was released in 2014 on Double Double Whammy and recorded in home studios rather than her highly professional set up at school. It was praised by publications like Pitchfork, NME, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. In 2015 she was signed to the independent label Dead Oceans and released her fourth record _Puberty 2_ in June 2016, to further critical acclaim. The album was featured in the top 25 of year-end lists by Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Entertainment Weekly. It also found commercial success, “landing on Billboard’s alternative, rock, independent, and Heatseekers albums charts, while the single ‘Your Best American Girl’ hit the streaming charts.” She has been touring since then, playing at SXSW and now her debut Coachella!
When you Google the French rap duo PNL, you’ll see headlines like this: “This Video Proves Why PNL Are The Most Famous Rappers You Haven’t Heard Of Yet,” “PNL have topped the iTunes chart despite refusing to sign a record deal or do interviews (),”PNL Are The French Rappers You Need To Know Immediately ),” “Reclusive French rap duo shoot to top of iTunes chart,” and “French Rap Duo PNL Will Change The Way You Think About Hip-Hop.” PNL stands for Peace N’ Lovés, which translates in French slang to Peace N’ Money, and is an independent cloud rap group comprised of two French-Algerian brothers, Ademo and N.O.S., from a Southern suburb of Paris. Both brothers had attempted solo rapper careers but came together in 2014 to form the duo. Two of their three record releases reached SNEP (or French RIAA certification; their second album _Le Monde Chico_ is certified gold with over 50,000 copies sold in France, and their third album _Dans la légende_ is certified Triple-Platinum with over 300,000 copies sold in France (and over 400,000 across Europe). Since they’ve let the music speak for itself they have built a sense of mystique which is part of their brand. They have a social media presence, with an Instagram filled mostly with memes, music recommendations, and pictures of fans with their records. Their Facebook ) and Twitter accounts are mostly devoted to updates about their music. But their big claim to fame is their YouTube account, which features over 20 videos averaging at least 25 million views per video. While they have mostly isolated themselves from the media, the often violent struggles of living in the projects (that they’ve dubbed “le Zoo”) in their hometown as an immigrant family feature prominently in their lyrics. Their stories, tempo, and style are disillusioned and their use of slang and Arabic adds further mystery to their music. Make sure to catch this very rare live performance at their Coachella debut.
Sampha is a British singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and producer who has worked with SBTRKT, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Drake, Frank Ocean, FKA twigs, and most recently, Solange on her critically acclaimed album _A Seat at the Table_. As a solo artist, he had previously released two EPs on Young Turks and remixed artists from Prince to the xx, but dropped his debut full-length album _Process_ on February 3rd. _Process_ has quickly received its own universal acclaim from music critics for its emotionally tumultuous lyrics and the alternative R&B/electronic style currently being played with by collaborators like FKA twigs. If you’ve already heard (and liked) Sampha on other artists’ records, be prepared for beautiful new sounds and powerfully dark styles in his solo work, where his “fragile and expressive vocals” are put to hauntingly good use. _Process_ allows you to fall deeper into his world, where you experience the uniquely weighty sonic universe he crafts for himself while musing on the ‘process’ of human self-discovery.” Don’t miss the chance to hear this record live (and fingers crossed, some surprise guest performers) at his Coachella debut.
Twin Peaks (named after a restaurant chain, not the TV show) is a five-piece indie rock band from Chicago that was formed in 2010 while all of its members were still in high school. They were not naive to the music scene, however; founding member Cadien James’ older brother was the drummer for the band Smith Westerns, and member Clay Frankel left his previous band (Crash Hero) to join Twin Peaks. Their music style combines “60s garage rock and the 2010s garage punk sound, or as Pitchfork says: the band “spends half their time as a chugging power chord factory and half as a winsome power-pop band.” This sound, though, has evolved over time, changing from purposefully sloppy garage-rock to fuzzy and punky psychedelia. Their debut album, _Sunken_, was recorded in 2012 James’ basement and released by the LA-based independent label, Autumn Tone Records. They toured this record as seniors in high school. After four of the members attempted to attend college, they all dropped out and returned to Chicago to record their second album, _Wild Onion_. It was released in 2014 and quickly received major attention in the indie music scene, mostly through YouTube. Their top single “Making Breakfast” garnered over 500,000 views, and another track “I Found A New Way” had its video debut on Billboard and was featured on Nylon Magazine‘s site. Their third album _Down in Heaven_, which featured a new fifth member Colin Croom, was released in May of 2016, and the band has been touring off and on since. Their live show is sure to be a killer jam session if I can deduce anything from their tunes and their relentless tour and festival schedule over the past couple years, so don’t miss them!
And for those of you still craving your big ticket fix, may we suggest genuine music legends New Order or Toots and the Maytals. They’re huge names we can’t help but fully get behind!
Toots and the Maytals:
Such a great panoramic view of these 5 bands that are sure to be great bands to watch and follow.
LA-Story.com would like to express our appreciation for being able to feature this content written by Saeli Eshelman.Thanks to Henry Eshelman for all the help! All authors include: Saeli Eshelman, Henry Eshelman and Sabrina Zeile for Knitting factory Entertainment.
If you are heading to Coachella next weekend, make an effort to see these bands.
Stay tuned for the next piece: Coachella Party Preview which will run Sunday 4/9/2017
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