Josh: It’s hard for me to put a genre on this kind of music since it draws from a fair amount of things, but still has a very specific sound. Broadly, I would call the genre indie pop or some variation of an indie alternative. In my opinion, I thought Waters were a really good band, but they were following the rules of the genre closely. They also sounded a lot like Grouplove to me before we even came in the building. I think the music isn’t getting at anything in specific, but it has a large appeal to a large demographic. Any show that would fall into this “genre” is going to see younger kids all the way to parents. The music is definitely “happy” music which I think allows people, whether 16 or 40, to take something positive and feel good out of it.
Pop and hip hop and EDM are going to keep melting together until we are all eternally bopping our heads to great beats with silly/empowering/deeply-meaningful-yet-YOLO-vapid lyrics. So many people (and of course politicians and corporations) are cynical and destructive these days, music like this certainly is part of the cure.
But it has to extend beyond the self. What does bother me about this musical movement and the message is that…. being awesome is not an endpoint. Feeling great as you go to a club or a party does not (necessarily) reflect a life well lived. At some point do you think all this love and positivity and dancing translates to social activism beyond the awesomeing of the self?
Last summer I discovered a band called Angus and Julia Stone. I’m really late on the bandwagon there, but the CD they put out last year is incredible and has also had a long lasting effect on me. For instance, it’s been on my iPod since I got into it (nothing stays that long) and I listen to it at least on a weekly basis, if not more often. That’s probably the most “upbeat” female fronted music I’m into currently. I’ve really been digging Natalie Prass though, who is also from the Beach and more on the mellow side. I think what Kim has going for her more than anything is just her presence and everything that comes with it. For both Angus and Julia Stone and Natalie Prass, the music is just so good; you could stand there with your eyes closed and enjoy it just as much as watching. I don’t really feel that way about Matt and Kim. It’s not a negative stance on it at all because they were awesome, it’s just something that is just as much about the hype as it is about the music. Do you think the show would have been as enjoyable had there not been all of the craziness between songs (and during)?
No, not at all. Their charisma is half the battle. And then when you sing and dance along to the music you feel like you get to borrow a little of it and keep it for yourself.
Matt and Kim *seem* like the raddest people. With her jumping on top of the kit, making eye contact — to the point of near uncomfortableness — with fans, and talking openly about having recently lazered her (tattoo’ed) downtown area. With him making exaggerated points at fans like they were his long lost friends, gushing about Norfolk, which he said feels more like home than home, and generally being an engaging dude who felt completely present.
That’s one of the big take-aways from a Matt and Kim show: be present. Be happy. Be awesome. Connect. I can get down with all that.
What songs were your favorites?
I couldn’t agree more. They seemed like awesome people and even though the performance was definitely planned to a degree, it was absolutely genuine and who they really are. “Let Go” is definitely one of my favorites by them that they played. I’m also not sure the name, but the first song they played from their new CD was also really good. I’m going to need to check it out. What about you?
“Hoodie On” is a fun song. “I woke up like this, put a hoodie on A pair of chucks and some jeans I’m gone.” The likes of us can relate.
“Cameras” has a positive message. I mean, all of them do, but I like this: “I see that we’re made of more then blood and bones see we’re made of sticks and stones.” It’s 100% corny but also 100% GOOD.
I love “Don’t Slow Down.
Top 5 moments from the show experience last night:
In no specific order: Now now now now now, the little kid dancing on the projection screen, Matt and Kim’s sheer awesomeness, when they shot all the confetti and the balloons out and the whole room looked fantastic, seeing them live after listening to them for years and not being disappointed in the slightest.
What did you learn from last night that you want to bring to Lava?
On a large scale Matt and Kim reinforced one of my main things, staying true to what you love and actually are.
When looking at music for a festival, you definitely want to look at something that is more upbeat in most cases and will keep people intrigued. Matt and Kim really help define how that can be done.