Eliot Lipp has been on the top of my list of producers to always catch live ever since seeing him for the first time last year opening for Conspirator in Buffalo. It’s always an awesome feeling seeing someone for the first time and leaving jaw dropped. Since then I have seen him countless times, and each show has been its own unique experience. Eliot’s style is unlike any other, which makes him truly one of a kind.
Eliot’s smooth style has had venues across the world dancing their hearts our for over 8 years, and he’s bringing his unique beats to Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom opening for Pretty Lights on November 9th!
If you have never heard of Eliot Lipp, you are missing out! Check out this live clip:
I had the awesome opportunity to catch up with Eliot Lipp. Check out what he had to say!
Kyle – How did you start out producing?
Eliot - I gathered some hand-me-down gear from other producers, a sampler, a keyboard, drum machine etc…I pretty much taught myself how to make simple beats and then just kept progressing.
Kyle – I noticed you do a lot of stuff with your midi keyboard .. Do you improv at your shows?
Eliot - Yeah some songs have moments where I solo on the synth. I definitely don’t plan my sets out ahead of time, I like to play off the crowd’s energy so improv is important.
Kyle – You’re supporting Pretty Lights at the Aragon Theater in Chicago. What do you like best about playing larger venues?
Eliot - You get treated better at the bigger venues, sometimes it’s bad though because I’ll get spoiled after being on tour with PL or a bigger artist and then I go back to playing small clubs again and I’m like “where’s my spring water & organic kombucha”.
Kyle – How do you construct your set opening for someone such as Pretty Lights verse headlining your own show?
Eliot - I rehearse about 50 or so songs before I go out on tour so I have a large arsenal in the cue. Once I get on stage I start to decide what songs to begin with based on the vibe in the room and depending on the crowd’s response I’ll move the set in different directions.
Kyle – When did you sign with Pretty Lights music?
Eliot - A year & a half ago before Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake came out.
Kyle – You have a very unique sound. What are some of your biggest influences in your music?
Eliot – RJD2, The Alchemist, Mux Mool, Richie Hawtin, Daft Punk, Just Blaze, Jay Dilla, Flosstradamus, Kanye, Aphex Twin etc… I’ve been listening to lots of classical music this year too though, my favorite album lately is “The Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter”
Kyle – What is your favorite piece of equipment you use live?
Eliot - My Korg MS-20. It was the first analog synth I ever bought and it’s got an amazing tone.
Kyle – Do you often collaborate with other artists?
Eliot - Yes, I made a track with Wick-It last year, and me and Michal Menert made Gettin’ Money. And I have collabs with Mux Mool, Supervision and more coming up on my next album.
Kyle – You have been playing with a live band. What is your favorite part about that?
Eliot - Collaborating live, creating something completely unique at every show, improvising.
Kyle – How did the live band act come about?
Eliot - I met my drummer Cru Jones when he was playing in Michna’s live band a few years ago, and Nick Bockrath my guitarist has been on a bunch of bills with me in the past. I think stylistically the three of us really create a solid sonic palate.
Kyle – What is one of your all time favorite cities to play?
Eliot - Austin is probably #1, but I also love Minneapolis, Tacoma, San Francisco & Brooklyn.
Kyle – What are some activities you enjoy outside of the music world?
Eliot - I like Painting, and hiking, and eating.
Kyle – What’s your favorite food?
Eliot – Avacado!
Kyle – If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Eliot - It’d be fun to close down the golden gate bridge for a night and have a show there. Or maybe deep in the Olympic mountains, in the rainforest on a day that it doesn’t rain.
Kyle – Where do you see electronic music in 20 years?
Eliot – I think tablets, computers and midi controllers will be more fully realized as musical instruments. The “human” element in live compositions and performances will be much more advanced. I think what is now considered EDM will continue to evolve and fragment into new genres. The way we listen to music will evolve and we will become more accustomed the subtleties of sound texture. I think complex melodies will return to popular music and harmonies will replace the cheap sensation of giant sweeps and bass drops, songs will be guided more by their musicallity. Music is the universal language of raw human emotion, it’s how we understand each other culturally. Once a certain rhythm or melody has cultural relevance it can represent a new era & a new generation.
Kyle – What was your first gig like? Were you nervous?
Eliot - I was so nervous, it was in this warehouse on Chicago’s south side. I got physically sick because I was so freaked out.
Kyle – What’s your biggest advice for aspiring musicians?
Eliot - Be original, don’t lose your imagination.
If you are even on the fence about checking out the show on November 9th, or any Eliot Lipp show for that matter; do yourself a favor and go. You will not regret it! Check out other dates on Eliot Lipp’s current tour:
10/25 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
10/26 – New Earth Music Hall – Athens, GA
11/1 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
11/2 – Suwannee Hulaween – Live Oaks, FL
11/7 – Mojo’s – Columbia, MO
11/8 – 2720 Cheokee – St Louis, MO
11/9 – The Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
11/29 – 1015 Folsom – San Fransisco, CA
12/4 – Shaka’s – Virginia Beach, VA
12/5 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
12/7 – The Park Bar – Detroit, MI
12/12 – Samana Lounge – Vail, CO
12/13 – Three20south – Breckenridge, CO
12/14 – Cervantes’ Other Side – Denver, CO
12/26 – Whiskey Jacques – Ketchum, ID
Pretty Lights has finally taken his analog show on the road! The making of his newest album, A Color Map of the Sun, involved an intense process of creating his own tracks, putting them on vinyl and then mixing it up into a dance party frenzy. The album has been out for a few months now and has been viewed as one of Pretty Lights’ most personal peices of work to date.
The making of A Color Map of the Sun was unprecedented. Derek Vincent Smith personally traveled around the country in search of the best musicians in the world of music. He then conducted them in the studio in order to produce the perfect sound for his tracks. Already knowing how he wanted each song to sound, he was able to tap into the raw talent of these musicians in order to create a perfect complement to his vision.
In a way it all makes sense, I mean a successful DJ is just a maestro who can access all his instruments with the tips of his fingers. Yet, I find there is always something lacking with the live show. Unless a DJ is straight up balls to the wall, the lights are usually the only visually stimulating element to the show. Well Pretty Lights already mastered the lighting aspect of his live sets and now he is finally ready to move forward into uncharted territory. It might be extremely risky, but a full band will be on the road with him this whole fall tour, that includes over 30 shows in less than two months! BOOM.
Hopefully this circus will be coming to a city near you because this PL tour is one for the books! Get your tickets HERE!
|Fri 10/11/13||St. Louis, MO||Chaifetz Arena|
|Sat 10/12/13||Nashville, TN||Greer Stadium|
|Wed 10/16/13||Auburn, AL||Auburn Arena|
|Fri 10/18/13||Miami, FL||Klipsch Amphitheater At Bayfront Park|
|Sat 10/19/13||Miami, FL||Klipsch Amphitheater At Bayfront Park|
|Tue 10/22/13||Columbia, SC||Township Auditorium|
|Thu 10/24/13||Atlanta, GA||The Tabernacle|
|Fri 10/25/13||Atlanta, GA||The Tabernacle|
|Sat 10/26/13||Las Vegas, NV||Downtown Las Vegas|
|Sun 10/27/13||Asheville, NC||ExploreAsheville.com Arena|
|Tue 10/29/13||Boston, MA||House Of Blues Boston|
|Wed 10/30/13||Amherst, MA||Mullins Center|
|Thu 10/31/13||Albany, NY||Times Union Center|
|Fri 11/01/13||Camden, NJ||Susquehanna Bank Center|
|Sat 11/02/13||Wallingford, CT||Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre|
|Sun 11/03/13||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles State Historic Park|
|Wed 11/06/13||Columbus, OH||Lifestyle Communities Pavilion|
|Thu 11/07/13||Detroit, MI||Masonic Temple Theatre|
|Fri 11/08/13||Chicago, IL||Aragon Ballroom|
|Sat 11/09/13||Chicago, IL||Aragon Ballroom|
|Wed 11/13/13||Louisville, KY||The Louisville Palace Theatre|
|Thu 11/14/13||Milwaukee, WI||Eagles Ballroom|
|Fri 11/15/13||Lincoln, NE||Pershing Center|
|Sat 11/16/13||Saint Paul, MN||Myth|
|Sun 11/17/13||Fargo, ND||The Venue|
|Wed 11/20/13||Missoula, MT||Adams Event Center|
|Thu 11/21/13||Spokane, WA||Knitting Factory Concert House|
|Fri 11/22/13||Kent, WA||ShoWare Center|
|Sat 11/23/13||Portland, OR||Veterans Memorial Coliseum|
|Wed 11/27/13||Reno, NV||Grand Sierra Resort & Casino|
|Fri 11/29/13||San Francisco, CA||Bill Graham Civic Auditorium|
|Sat 11/30/13||San Francisco, CA||Bill Graham Civic Auditorium|
Download “A Color Map of the Sun” here for FREE!
My birthday. Christmas. Packers’ playoffs. Summerfest. That’s the ascending order of my favorite days of the year (at least until Summer Camp becomes a yearly tradition). I’ve been to every Summerfest since ’99 (when I was 7), and I know my parents have brought me along earlier than that, I just have no recollection of it. My father has been to every single Summerfest since the opening in ’68, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’ll share that in a future post. Anyways, this is the 11 day span I make sure I get off work months in advance every year. The last Wednesday of June through the first Sunday of July. Every year. The most I ever attended was 8 nights back in 2010. This year I will total 6 appearances, the first 3 I will share below.
^mid gate entrance
Thursday, June 27
Thursday morning, I had no plans of attending Summerfest. I didn’t have a ticket, there were’t any bands playing that I was real committed to seeing, and I was already going to the Brewer game in the day. Some of my college buddies were in town and had never experienced The World’s Largest Music Festival, so I had to show them a good time. Being a Thursday night, it wasn’t too crowded, so we stage-hopped around a bit. We started at REO Speedwagon, a band I am not all too familiar with (just the main radio songs) for about a half hour. They were on the Big Backyard stage, which is probably my favorite side stage on the grounds. It’s smaller and more confined, creating an intimate feel between the crowd and the band. The crowd was loving the show, as the band members displayed a lot of enthusiasm and showmanship up on stage.
The next stop was to go see Blues Traveler, the most fun I had in the night. It was my first time listening to Blues Traveler, and after seeing them, it won’t be my last. I didn’t know any of the songs, but I loved their sound – I’d describe it as a mix of southern blues jam rock.
Friday, June 28
This was the day I had marked on my calendar for some time. I got to the grounds by 6 to catch an hour long set of Roster McCabe, who was performing on the Tiki Stage. I’ve written about these guys before and I can’t say enough about their talent and potential. The sky is the limit for this small time electro-rock reggae jam band from Minneapolis. Here is a video I took of their original, Critical Speed. This song makes me feel like I’m in a video game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D9gEfWOu_o
After Roster McCabe, I ventured to the south end of the grounds near the Marcus Amphitheater to find myself a Tom Petty ticket. Honestly, I just would have been fine with a lawn seat for $50 (~face value). I spoiled myself a little bit, and found a ticket in about the 20th row for just $80. Such a steal. I walked through the gates into the Amphitheater with the BIGGEST smile on my face. It’s been 4 years since I’ve last seen Petty, and I was worried that I’d never get the chance again. First thing I got to say is, we need to start reconsidering the Heartbreakers as a jam band. They’re not there yet, but 3 different times during the show the band displayed some serious extended pieces of improv from their tunes, sparking more dance moves from across the stands. Highlights of this show for me include the three consecutive greatest hits of Here Comes My Girl, MJ’s Last Dance and Free Fallin’. As I’ve said before, little concert moments have compared to Free Fallin’ live. One of my all time favorite songs, as well as I’m sure the rest of the sold out crowd at the Marcus Amphitheater. Even into his old age, Petty still brings the love and energy every night and shows his passion on stage. You can just tell he absolutely loves being up there, and that he’ll do it as long as he sure can.
Setlist: (source: http://instagram.com/p/bJhmihyB1G/)
Rock & Roll Star, Love is a Long Road, I Won’t Back Down, Baby Please Don’t Go, Here Comes My Girl, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Free Fallin’, Woman in Love, Cabin Down Below, Band Introductions, Tweeter and the Monkey Man (Traveling Wilburys), Rebels, Melinda, Learning to Fly, You’re So Bad, I Should Have Known It, Refugee, Running Down a Dream.
Encore: Don’t Come Around Here No More, You Wreck Me, American Girl
Here are some videos I was able to capture:
Here Comes My Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8vHWZu6-kM
Free Fallin’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=784Jett6cZU
Don’t Come Around Here No More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdRutD0-_AA
^ sell out crowd at The Marcus Amphitheater!
Saturday, June 29
I do not consider myself a very big electronic music fan. I prefer the good ol’ rock and roll. A handful of talented musicians up on the stage pouring their souls through their instruments. Pretty Lights, however, is one of 2 exceptions (Big Gigantic being the other). This was my first Pretty Lights show, so I wasn’t too sure of what to expect. The Harley Davidson Roadhouse Stage was just PACKED with people, shoulder to shoulder. I will estimate about 15,000 were in attendance for Pretty Lights on this hot summer night in late June. Of all the shows I’ve been to, Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) instantly put himself in the top tier of a good time. One word to describe the atmosphere? Party. As crowded as it was, everyone there was having a blast and dancing to the best they could with limited space. I am sad to admit that it was difficult to take pictures and videos, but for good reason: the picnic table I was standing on was shaking! Too many people dancing. I suppose that’s a good problem to have at any concert! I can’t wait to see him again. The highlight for me was definitely his remix of Time by Pink Floyd, considering there was a Floyd cover band playing Summerfest earlier that day that I missed. I wish that I was closer, but if I had tried any further up there I would have been too uncomfortable to move and dance.
Let’s Get Busy, Around the Block, A Million Tomorrows, So Much in the Dark, Can’t Stop Me Now, Finally Moving, Cold Feeling, I Put a Spell on You, Done Wrong, Time, How We Do, SummerTime, If I Could Feel Again, Out of Time, World of Illusion, One Day They’ll Know, So Bright, I Know the Truth, Yellow Bird, Total Fascination, Still Night Remix, I Can See It In Your Face, Up & Down I Go, Hot Like Sauce, Exodus
Here’s my video of Finally Moving: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omCT4Bzak5U
^ my 2 best pics from Pretty Lights.
After PL finished, I caught the tail end of Roster McCabe’s set again at the Tiki Stage. I could hear their hit “Take a Breath” from a whole stage over and ran up to join the small frenzy of dancing Summerfesters. Take a Breath is the perfect song I think to set an example for Roster McCabe’s sound: a mix of reggae, rock, and EDM. Here is their released live album version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmedpaoyw34.
They encored with Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” a great cover choice as it drew the attention of even more passer-byers in and added to the fun. I saw Roster in mid June in La Crosse, where they also covered the MJ classic. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX8ENXjfj5I
At the end of each show, Alex, the lead singer, takes a picture of the crowd and posts it to their facebook. Here is the photo, which doesn’t quite do justice to how many people were in the tiny little area
^ Roster family photo!
And that sums up my first 3 nights of Summerfest! My next recap will be Umphrey’s McGee from July 2nd, followed by another blog of Dark Star Orchestra and 311.
Pretty Lights’ newest album, A Color Map of the Sun, just dropped and let me be the first to say that this is one high quality, groove pumping, tastefully produced record. The progression of the album makes the listener feel like they are on a journey through the human condition, experiencing every emotion possible through their spiral down the rabbit hole.
This album was made for vinyl with vinyl produced by Pretty Lights. In fact, it comes with a whole extra disc of bonus material that is just that: The raw vinyl cuts that were used to produce the tracks found on Color Map. Each cut was orchestrated by Colorado’s very own home grown, Derek Vincent Smith, the mastermind behind Pretty Lights, who collaborated with dozens of musicians from around the country to produce one of his most soulful pieces of art to date. If you dig music, you better dig soul music, and A Color Map of the Sun smacks you across the face with soul.
The album’s first two tracks, “Color of My Soul” and “Press Pause” pack a soulful punch before Color Map really starts to throw down his bone moving grooves with “Let’s Get Busy.” The combination of both horns as strings brings layer upon layer of energy and purpose to almost every track on the album, yet the snap crackle pop of the vinyl brings the element of raw sound full circle.
While at times the album seems to lack the hip-hop references we are so used to hearing at a PL live show, it is almost as if A Color Map of the Sun is a nod to hip hop’s roots. In fact, too literal of a hip hop reference could have damaged the integrity of an album so full of raw musical expression. Pretty Lights seems determined to show the good, bad, and downright scary side of his musical aesthetic. ”Go Down Sunshine”, “So Bright”, and “Dead Wrong” explore the depths of PL’s dark side. On the other end of the spectrum, “Yellow Bird” and “One Day They’ll Know” have a more relaxed, ethereal sound that seems to provide balance to the album. It takes guts to express these types of musical emotions and it is definitely not commonplace within this genre of music.
As with all of Pretty Lights tracks, you can download the entire album for free or it can be purchased through iTunes or Prettylightsmusic.com. As an independent artist, he has found great success by making his music available to everyone for free over the years (with only the suggestion of donation.) In order to provide a bit more incentive for fans to pay, PL is offering a variety pack of goodies in order to entice fans to open their checkbooks. Color Map vinyls, pins, t-shirts, bonus tracks, and a neat little book all about the album have nearly all sold out through pre order. Luckily, there is more swag being produced and record stores are currently stocking their shelves with LP, but I am sure they won’t last long.
PL made a sweet little video on the making of A Color Map of the Sun you can check out here!!!
The PL YouTube channel also has music videos for every track on the album, along with visual art to emphasize the overall concept that is “Pretty Lights.” Check out the playlist here.
If I could quickly sum up Sunday’s experience it would be: dance party.
I peeled myself out of my tent around 9 (the latest I’d been able to sleep all weekend), got ready, and headed over to the Summer Camp offices to load up pictures and blog posts. When I got there, I found out that I’d been cleared to interview Michael Franti after his set that afternoon. I spent a few minutes freaking out with excitement, and got to work on prep.
Around 3 I met up with some buddies at moe.’s acoustic set on the Starshine Stage – so much fun! They kicked it off with St. Augustine, which is a favorite of mine, and the dance party began. At this point in the day, you could really tell that the heat index was well over 100 degrees, so a big thanks goes out to all you nice festies who were smart enough to bring Super Soakers to spray the crowd… we really appreciated it!
After moe., I took a short break to collect myself in time for the Franti interview, and headed over to his set. I spent about the first 3 songs in the VIP area (thinking I didn’t want to get too dirty or sweaty before meeting him), but quickly it became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen — dance party #2! We rushed to the middle of the crowd, kicked off our shoes, and got down to some amazing tunes. About halfway through, Franti popped up with a makeshift stage in the middle of the crowd, right near where we were standing. It could not have been more perfect; it was like out own little performance. That’s what I love about Franti – he brings people on stage, comes into the crowd, and generally makes every show feel like a community experience. After the set, I got my big interview, which will be posted on the site sometime this week… let’s just say, it was a dream come true and I am still smiling about it.
Next up, it was time for Pretty Lights. I’ve seen him before and although I’m a fan, we had planned just to stop for a little bit before moving over to Galactic. But once we were in the crowd, we knew we had to stay… dance party #3! Somehow, a group of people had managed to take over one of the golf carts and use it as a party platform… how this happened, I have no idea. But they looked like they were having a ball, so we joined in.
We walked over to Jane’s but stayed way in the back so we could scoot back to Moonshine quickly and catch moe.’s last set from up close. It was a perfect set and – as expected – dance party #4! We danced the night away sharing swigs from a bottle of Jameson and soaking in the last bits of Summer Camp… because, as always, it just went too fast.
Check out this video of what to expect in less than 4 weeks!
Can’t wait to see you all soon!
Your Summer Camp Director
We’re so excited that the following artists will be joining our hosts moe. & Umphrey’s McGee this year at the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival!!
Tedeschi Trucks Band
G. Love & Special Sauce
Gigantic Underground Conspiracy featuring members of
Big Gigantic, the Disco Biscuits and Conspirator
Shpongle presents The Masquerade
Fareed Haque & MathGames
The Car Thief
Don’t forget, Primus, Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio, Gogol Bordello, Ozomatli, Cornmeal, Victor Wooten, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Hot Buttered Rum, Family Groove Company, DJ SOLO, Positive Vibr8ions, Chicago Farmer, Spankalicious, The Giving Tree Band, and Brainchild will also be performing this year!
And we’re just getting started. We will be announcing so many more artists in the near future! So make sure to get your Not-So-Early Bird Tickets now before they sell out. Our Not-So-Early Bird Layaway Tickets are also now available.
Have an amazing weekend!
Your Summer Camp Director