santana @ sprint center

santana @ sprint center

The strong scent of incense wafted over the audio gear. We had been standing in the barricades of the photo pit, anxiously awaiting Carlos Santana, for all of three minutes when I realized the footage being played above stage was from Woodstock fifty years ago. This footage was being played to lull us into a gorgeous start of a wonderful and nostalgic evening with the one and only Carlos Santana, who is taking the time on his tour to acknowledge his 20 year old album — the one I know the best — Supernatural.

He played songs like “Put Your Lights On”, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Breaking Down The Door”, “Maria Maria”, and he didn’t leave out fan favorites “Oyo como va” and “Smooth”. And that’s exactly how I would describe his energy on the stage. The performers made it feel as though they were jamming together in someone’s basement or — better yet for a crowd this big and this dedicated to the ambiance (HELLOOOOO 420!) — perhaps a backyard on a warm summer’s night.

The evening was absolutely magical, and of course we credit so many generations of love for Santana on this one. Peep some photos below.


globelamp talks romantic cancer, germany, and influence

globelamp talks romantic cancer, germany, and influence

Southern California-based psych/folk musician Elizabeth le Fey has been making beautiful strides with her music under the moniker Globelamp. We’ve been bedazzled by her presence ever since 2014’s Star Dust entered our lives, and watching that progression has been an absolute pleasure over the years. Luckily enough, we got a few minutes to speak with the masterful le Fey about her music, and we also got a few other fun questions in.

Romantic Cancer is your most stripped down album to date, why did you decide on this for your third release?

I wanted to finally put an album out that sounded closer to how I sound live. When I perform live, I play alone. Although I love experimenting in the recording studio, I thought it would be good for Globelamp to have an album in my discography that was true to what the roots were of my music making – guitar, piano, and me.

You recorded Romantic Cancer in Bohemesphere Studios not far from Woodstock, which is a name synonymous with music.  Did any element of Woodstock appear in your music?

Yes I think the elements of Woodstock were in my music even before I went there so it was extra cool to be inspired by the actual location of Upstate NY. Growing up, there is so much mythology around Woodstock that if you are a musician, you probably have romanticized it.

Your new album focuses on how we pull ourselves back together again after a breakup, how would you hope this would help and inspire people who are just going through a breakup?

I hope this album would encourage people to love again even if they have been hurt before. I hope I’m not the only one who relates to the emotional low of “lowest low” haha. I think that sometimes you don’t realize you are romantic until you date someone who is afraid of romance or love. Or maybe you are that person who fears love because of fear of abandonment or hurt. This album could be for either person in that scenario – the hopeless romantic – or the closed off emotional shell who secretly longs for love.

How did Romantic Cancer lead on from The Orange Glow?

The Orange Glow in my mind is more a psychedelic dark forest fairy tale. Romantic Cancer is more of a journal entry exposed.

You are a fan of British folk music of the 60’s, what is it about the music of that era and place that influence you so much?

I think I love the minimalism of it and the raw talent that was around in that time period. Now people can hide behind so many effects in music, it’s hard to tell who is actually creating what. I love the British folk music of the 60’s and how they tell stories and create a whimsical atmosphere with their words and phrasing.

You recorded a few songs on Romantic Cancer in just one take, what was it about the song and the emotion of the song that felt right on the first take?

I think it’s because I had practiced the songs so many times and envisioned how they should sound so it was easy to just bust some of the songs out. Of course people recording with you always want to add more, but in my mind, I already knew what some of these songs sounded like and I had a very clear vision of it. There is something powerful in recording one take of a song when you just KNOW you got it.

Why was love such an important subject for your new album?

Because I used to think that showing emotions and being vulnerable was weak but these last few years I realized that it is actually strong to say how you feel – because most of the time people can relate to those things the most. We all know what it feels like to fall in love or get our heart broken.

James Felice joined you on Romantic Cancer, what was it like to work with him as you are a fan of his music?

It was amazing and a total honor. I am a huge fan of the Felice Brothers and I think James Felice is so talented and he is also a sweetheart. I love the additions he added to the album. I can’t even imagine “Blinded” or “Black Tar” without him now.

When you wrote “Blinded” you wanted it to have a synth-pop sound, now I’m a big fan of synth-pop so what bands would have influenced you?

Hmmm I’m not really sure. 80’s stuff and the song “I wish You would” by Taylor Swift. Kinda a random answer but the backup vocals on I wish you would made me want to write a song like that (didn’t happen) but I kept imagining the vocals on “blinded” going “you and me you and me” over and over again the way Taylor goes, “I Wish I I I wish I II wish II I wish you would”

You speak a little bit of German and have visited Germany, what is it about Germany that is so magical or draws you there?

I guess their creepy history and the actual land, it feels magical. Growing up I always thought German was the ugliest language and had no desire to visit Germany, but after being there, I changed my mind. My uncle is a professional trumpet player in the Bonn Symphony Orchestra so I have had the pleasure of spending a good chunk of time in the country. I have always been fascinated by fairy tales and the Grimm’s fairy tales are German. When I was a student at The Evergreen State College I also took a course called “Blood and Beauty; the study of Germanic paradoxes of their love of mystery and order”. It was a really intense class. I love how Germany is helping the refugees from Syria, especially with the German’s dark past. My uncle has a whole Kurdish family from Syria living with him. They have their own house on his property. I feel very blessed that I was able to become such good friends with the Kurdish family. Since none of them could speak English, I had to get better at German. I actually wrote a song about them, and refugees in general, that I cut from Romantic Cancer. It didn’t fit the theme and I plan to put on the next album.

What do you feel is your most ethereal song you have ever written?

Wow hard question. I guess it matters if I am performing it or listening to a recorded track. Faerie Queen?  

What do you feel are the most important elements of your music?

The feelings, the words.


Keep up with Globelamp here.

portugal. the man, woodstock

portugal. the man, woodstock

For those of you living under a rock, America’s favorite groove/soul/genre-blending indie collective Portugal. The Man put out a stunning release with their album Woodstock earlier this yearfrom which their well received single “Feel It Still” comes to their admiring public. With all of the madness surrounding the release, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival was actually able to play host as a platform for the new album, as they performed there and even a small album listening party congregated in the hot hot heat of the weekend. Now Woodstock is available to the general public, and we definitely have some thoughts.

Like the lead track “Number One”, which features Richie Havens and Son Little. Beginning with a bit of b-roll white noise with a crowd talking, the track actually sets up with a hard beat and more of an 80’s soulful groove. Second track “Easy Tiger” actually explodes with synth – but in a contemporary pop way – before the sound kind of shatters into a crackling, frantic song with its layers of sound effects and high energy. Third track “Live In The Moment” is driven by its percussion, framing personal anecdotes in its lyrics. It’s definitely the anthemic type of song, providing an energy that encourages pursuing your dreams. It almost feels like you can’t get better than that, as your ears are enveloped in this positive, fun sound. And then, of course, they one up it all with “Feel It Still”, which we FEEL doesn’t necessitate an explanation. Just wow.

The rough guitar that brings “Rich Friends” into the fold really provides an edge the album hasn’t previously explored. References to “wonderwall” and lines like “livin’ life like we’re the only ones that know we’re famous” provide a commentary on living life like a rockstar. “Keep On” is an upbeat track, but its lyrics further confirm the struggle between persistence for the sake of it to maintain momentum and acting out of actual passion. “So Young” takes on a different feel than its predecessors, a moderate tempo track that really exudes a matter-of-fact, sit back and relax vibe. (Something Portugal. The Man isn’t averse to doing, thankfully. These tracks are smooth like butter and – in our opinion – standouts in their previous work as well.)

Eighth track “Mr Lonely” (ft. Fat Lip) maintains a similar tempo and instrumental vibe to “So Young”, though they continue in a similar vein to prior social commentary tracks, with lyrics like “There’s glitter falling/and a banner that says/Welcome to Hell/Make yourself at home/Leave behind free will/Can you feel me now?” Haunting and conversation-inducing, this is the outstanding beauty that Portugal. The Man is known for.

But they’re not done yet.

“Tidal Wave”‘s composition screams “SUMMER!”, especially with the vision of a wave in your mind. But it’s so much more than that if you delve into the lyrics, really focusing more on “the aftershock,” highlighting that “the rest of you’s born to lose… worst of you’d born to lose/Bet on the winners,” which comes right back around to societal expectations. (But we’re always betting on this band, if anyone’s wondering.) They round it all out expertly with tenth track “Noise Pollution” (ft. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Manville), a song that echoes the title’s sentiment. Layers of instrumentals create this frenzied feeling, but somehow it all blends perfectly into this sound that perfectly defines what the band is all about.: the energy, the social awareness, the experience.

Woodstock is available now. Run, don’t walk. (Or speed type your CC into that order form!)

**Originally posted to Impose.