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Milhões de Festa 2013: The Journal (Part I/IV)

Me, myself and I, chillin’ at MdF, cumps

Another year gone by and here we are, August coming and still the memories of a fully enjoyed weekend at Barcelos, Braga, Portugal. Yes, it’s Milhões de Festa 2013 and its post-depressing nostalgic memories. But enough fussiness, what’s left of the past weekend? Here’s what, in the first of four parts of the festival’s journal.

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Milhões de Festa 2013: day 2 preview (Saturday 27th)

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Here’s what to see at day two of Milhões de Festa, usually the most crowded of the festival, being Saturday and all. I’m just mentioning this just so you won’t be still confused about our numbers designation. Without further do, here it is, right after you click “Read More”.

Pool Stage

Surya Exp Duo. Now, if you’d have to guess their genre just reading their name, you’d say they’re an experimental rock duo, right? And it isn’t far, just add some cosmic ambient and a few tribal drones and it’s pretty much it. Let’s hope you can find your nirvana as soon as it’s afternoon.And what afternoon will be straight ahead. Cuzo’s next and you can also expect some galactic sound, but wrapped in phased guitars and jiggling drums. The jam is strong in this one, the simplicity and power a trio does. But wait, isn’t a little bit of heaviness missing in the pool? No more! Besta to come. Much to say? Nope, not-even-two-minutes song and a brutal load of violence unleashed. As for the vocals, well, if they’d tell me that’s the devil singing, I would believe it. Best to do the exorcism in waters. Speaking of the devil (and people who canoodles kittens), I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this show of Slimcutz, Supa & J-K, who will represent Monster Jinx in a DJ set. Practically the basis of Portuguese hip(ster) hop, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, I can only be looking forward to jive along those sharped beats and fresh loops while those three boys and girl parley some words. Not a bad day to be at the pool, heh?

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Taina Stage

Neither at Taina Stage, right with 10000 Russos. I’ll explain the name of a band from Taina again, it’s becoming sort of a habit – 10000 Russos, while it translates to 10000 Russians (not even a funny name), in Portuguese it works as a pun for Demis Roussos (which is hilarious). And of course, its sound couldn’t be more outlying than “Goodbye My Love, Goodbye”: heavy artillery of drums and guitar, trying to fill the most gaps possible while you figure out to make the most of a journey for all that. A pretty strong reason for postponing the pool. Another reason could be Dreamweapon, providing us guitar feedback for snack, gulping with some safe rock. After this you won’t be hungry for more, trust me. Or maybe trying a little more to the roots menu? Because The Quartet of Woah seems the choice, since the 70s looked cool for some reason. Really, this couldn’t be more traditional: drums, guitar, bass and Hammond. To please a lot of the old and the young. Also, the transition to Perro Peligro should be one of the most effectives of the festival. This instrumental act is all but shabby: focused guitars, jumping, grove on, grove off rhythms, progressive stuff, it’s a rumble. Hope to check those guys if no unforeseen arrives.

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Main Stages

Pay attention, you new experiences lovers: HHY & The Macumbas to start really soon. Electronic music combined with tribal percussion, horns and masks? Yeah, it’s a show. Expect to enhance in some ritual to some make-up god, and worship It. Never the sunset went more gazing. And accordingly, with the moonrise comes the metal, in charge of Process of Guilt. Don’t worry, the world won’t end and there’s more Milhões after this slap of doom metal, but feel free to evaporate some demons off yourself.

The next band to perform will be Loosers, and the concept is at least somewhat unique. Keeping post punk in mind, Loosers manage to fulfill their songs with increases and decreases of drums, buzzes and whatever they’ll pick, all this while the bass guitar tasks the quantity of each one. Should be interesting to watch, as much as the next name I had already mentioned in the previous preview, Dam Mantle, this time with a few more elements than a mere DJ set. Probably I’ll make it to both concerts, we’ll see what differences this’ll have in comparison with the pool gig.

Once again the game of “guess what it sounds reading their name”?  Because this time you’ll lose, given Egyptian Hip Hop is neither Egyptian nor hip hop. It’s pretty much a influenced 80s pop band from modern Madchester. Their pair of singers also try to play a little charismatic as those bands back in the day, but fail a little. Nevertheless, this promises dancing and yelling girls, and by that we thank you.

Definitely we’re on party mode by this time, and you might better be ready, otherwise this will hit you pow!, right in the kisser – or better spoke in Spanish, ZA! En toda la boca. Very impressive the consistency of this rock beat music for only two Catalans responsible for all the stuff used. Seriously, it’s a rich sonorous fest. Quite a must-see of the night.

Back to the metal, time to Eyehategod. What to say, they’re clearly masters of the sludge, if not the. Besides that, their show always look so intense, the compounded overall of distortion is simply mesmerizing. Let’s hope the late hour won’t retract a few (as what I’m concerned, fucking not).

Whatever, if metal isn’t your awaking medicine, Octa Push will do. Time for the electronic music to take a step and teach us the choreography. I guess their uplifting music and strong bass will do well, but if this really isn’t enough for you, DJ Marfox must kill all resistance with kuduro! Oh my, you can’t say this day won’t be fun. Saturday accomplished, sirs.

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And don’t you forget to eat “Panadão do Xispes”


Photos by SMF

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bernardo@bolachas.org

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Milhões de Festa 2013: day 1 preview (Friday 26th)

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Now it’s time to anticipate our second day of Milhões de Festa but the first at full speed, with concerts happening at the pool and at the main site of the festival, by Milhões Stage and VICE Stage. For those who never attended Milhões, the concerts of the latters always occur separately and continuously, giving us no slot time without music. Therefore, don’t mind if I don’t distinguish a concert from which stage, they’re a few meters from one another. And you can always check our schedule for the entire festival to be sure what stage the band is performing, collaboration of ours with P3. Thus, I’ll divide the shows in three segments: the Taina Stage concerts, the Pool Stage ones and those of the main stages. Here’s what to see at (still by our definition) day 1 of Milhões de Festa!

Pool Stage

There are some interesting things to check here, no doubt, and even if not of your interest, the soundtrack is right for the swimming-pool. And Juba seems to please both worlds, with a sort of a moderate dysphonic rock who enters in secure territory. If you’re not to pay much attention they won’t bother you, but still, it’s a good start. The next name is by far more intriguing, as it’s another combo that only MdF provides: Yonatan + Igor. The guitarist of the not that long missed Monotonix teams up with the drummer of Throes – and Throes + The Shine, another combo band to turned to be a serious and successful project – to simply do music and fish something out of there. Given the historic of both, maybe another project worth the effort is germinating. The combos shan’t stop; it’s time for Adorno/Papaya! And although little I know of them, they seem like two bands with a lot of members in common, who just gave up and decided to join all together. Fits right with the music: happy punky rock with little worries. Cool, cool, cool. And to finish, a DJ set of course. No day of the Pool Stage is complete without a DJ set, and the honors are to Dam Mantle. But don’t underestimate this one, this guy is intrinsically classy. Even though he’ll come later with a more complete show, this DJ set shouldn’t be ignored with a swimming-pool nearby to chill out and incorporate those edgy beats and painkiller mixing. And here’s how an afternoon is done.

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Taina Stage

But hey, screw your swimming-pool, Taina Stage has the better line-up (sorry, no hurt feelings guys I just reviewed). But seriously, consider visiting at least a band out of four. And this band could really be Quelle Dead Gazelle. An instrumental duo with the strength of three or four more, it’s a band who knows how to avoid “that” sameness of a guitar and drums duo. The guitar effects are a constant, and the drums dictates more than the pace, indeed conducts the feel and route of the song. It’s a quality gig, people. The following name is Vai-te Foder. This means “fuck you” in Portuguese. Next band. Ok, ok, sorry. Literally it means “go fuck yourself”, but “fuck you” is shorter and right to the point, much like the band (shocker!). It’s crust-grindcore, what else do you fucking need? But if straight noise isn’t what you’re looking for, there’s dUASsEMIcOLCHEIASiNVERTIDAS. This means tWOsIXTHEENTHSrEVERSED (stylization maintained) in Portuguese, and it literally means nothing more than a reference to the sometimes rapid movements of the band. Because there’s more to it, like beat deconstruction, loudness and softness and weird objects trying to vibrate into music (I’m not saying there’s a vibrator onstage, but there’s a vibrator onstage). You know, fun! And for ending the fun after giving some of theirs, Mr. Miyagi. Couple years ago they managed to turn a full swimming-pool in a synchronized swimming lesson, puts you imagining what it’ll be next for a stage pretty much plain, only with a stone wall next to it. Oh god, please be safe. Well, crazy rock concert safe at least. There’s more of the festival to enjoy.

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Main Stages

Wow, this year they really stood up for the first day. I mean, the most anticipated names of the fest will act this night. However, by no means “anticipated” means the best, just that these were the most recognizable for the attenders, and for many this year’s music appeal. Because let’s face it, there’s always a surprisingly surprise new favorite act of the year for each and every one of you. Maybe Papir? Maybe. They have a lot of elements who do well by the sunset, prepare yourself for long time songs who eventually explode in some uplifting krautrock, helping the ambient around it with some delays and chorus. Synths may appear suddenly also. It’s a great opener for the night, I think later on we wouldn’t be so much into this type of music. But for many it’s just the first part of one of the many must-see concerts (if not the main one), it being Mikal Cronin. And I go along with it. Mikal easily stands out of the rest of the festival, not only because it’s getting a well-deserved hype, but also of the music, which is pretty joyful, but much loyal and solid to his roots (San Francisco, beach rock and stuff). What more can I say, I advise you seriously to go listen to both his records, they’re great. Great as the expecting quality of a guy whose past was being a bassist for other guys like Ty Segall. Got your attention now? Good. Do it.

Since we’re talking about some influences, the next artist shares indubitably some with Syd Barrett. Ok, NOT that kind of influences (but also), musical influences. Ladies and gentlemen, Jacco Gardner. But nevermind the copy paste, Jacco knows a lot of the stuff. It’s psychedelic rock how psychedelic rock should be: harmonically complete and timbre rich. If you took drugs for Milhões, this is the time to use them. A concert who I’m guessing will receive a lot of praise.

Disclaimer’s note if I happen to like the following concert (highly probable): treat him as a stand-alone experience, and not as a concert of any of the bands. Because this totally happen last year. Yes, Black Bombaim is back and this time the fusion is Black Bombaim + La La Ressonance, one of the most succeeded Portuguese rock bands along with the already classic act of La La Ressonance. And if you do remember, Black Bombaim + GNOD was something of a full concert length experience, where loudness became the common factor. This time’s common factor? Good question. Maybe BB will bring the whole noise and La La the unfitting gaps. Whatever the result may be, I’m looking forward for the misconception.

So, what’s next? Austra. The indie crowd is looking forward a lot for this one, and maybe that’s why this day is so strong in many levels, each urban crew gets a tremendous concert to watch. Prepare yourself for moving along with those pretty girls singing in between riffing synths and a striking bass. Either way, if this isn’t your cup of tea, you can always relax, they’re harmless.

…While Camera waits to bring another kind of relaxation, the one where usually your mind just goes away. I have to bring some facts about this recent band but not so recent act: these guys used to play very spontaneous shows in also very spontaneous locations, totally improvising the whole music. Don’t be surprised if this is gig turns out to be performed in the middle of the crowd, an already classic move of Milhões de Festa. Given the videos of those early performances, I sure hope so.

Speaking of Milhões’ traditions, looks like the first big day of the festival is becoming the chosen one to play the concordantly biggest metal band of the line-up. This year’s? Ufomammut. This Italian trio is way powerful, and probably the headbanging will turn out to be not avoidable. Don’t expect much insanely speed on the riffing, they’re not that type, just the sufficient and right. Also, no need for a singer. This experience is based in heavy sound, and I assure you, it’s heavy. Another expecting great concert of the night.

Although I’m awaiting it to be awesome,the feeling I’m getting is it’ll interrupt the partying a little, and Otto Von Schirach is guilty. An americano-cubano-germanico MC, who clearly revises the definition of swag, adds a little breakcore to the heavy partying, while using some doubtful dressing. If you’re indeed going to use drugs back then at Jacco Gardner, this pretty much is the bad trip. Otherwise, lots and lots of fun.

And to close, White Haus turntabling us a DJ set. In other words, X-Wife’s frontman João Vieira choosing us some songs to hear. And this is how you close the first day of Milhões de Festa. Stay tuned for the rest.

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And please do come back, crowdsurfing Spiderman.

Photos by SMF

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bernardo@bolachas.org

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Milhões de Festa 2013: novelties and day 0

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It’s that time of the year again! July’s last weekend is coming, and along with it comes Milhões de Festa, our favorite hip music + pretty people Summer festival. So what to expect this year besides baffling concerts and pool partying?

Trombone playing: essentially the same. Yep, seems like Barcelos has finally decided to go steady and not to add any new feature to the fest, after three editions with some experiments but pretty convinced in what works and what to keep. Starting with Taina Stage. Yeah, Taina’s back! Last year I craved for its return and it is back, and the lineup couldn’t be more faithful to the principle of heavy eating, drinking and rocking. But that I’ll speak later on, still in the article, as the first day returns to Cávado’s harcorest belvedere, the remaining days at their time/review. But wait, first day? What about our common denomination of “day 0”?

Well, the previously “unofficial” day of Milhões is now official, counting 4 days of festival. A move that doesn’t affect that much the dynamic of the week – the camping won’t open sooner than that day at noon – and works as a way to increase the importance of having a stage with shows from afternoon to late night. Wait, this is news, no Taina concert started before 9 o’clock a year ago! And it might actually be a great move, because personally I don’t think Taina Stage works great at the Sun’s absence. However, the lineup is appetizing, and let’s check a few shows to watch:

Tamar Aphek. As in what’s usually a habit, I had to search info about this person (at least that I got correct, it’s a name). And here’s what I found: female Israeli, guitarist and singer of Carusella and ED, both Israel stoner rock bands. I advise you to check those bands because little information exits on Tamar’s solo performances (well, there are some videos in her personal facebook but obviously I won’t share them here, you stalkers!), although sources tell me it’s an acoustic set. Pretty way to start, heh?

Canzana and Cangarra. How many bands do you read? If your answer is one or two, wrong! After Canzana and Cangarra (two bands) had giving their solo performance, they’ll reunite synergies to make a very singular performance. Plural. Or singular? Whatever, many numbers of reasons to check these jazz-like jam rockers combined.

PS: another close source (honestly, I’m just checking the official site) suggests it’s in fact an improvise battle?

Spacin’. There’s why “day zero” suddenly it’s day one: because there’s quality bands like Spacin’ playing. Fan of some 21st century psychedelism? Then don’t miss this, they do it good but do it old-school. There’s some garage rock sprinkling in here too, for those who kinda like it more straight. But overall, it’s really one of those typical Milhões concerts where after they get big – or even otherwise –, you’ll get to remember it and be sure why you loved it back then. No doubt one of the must-sees of the night.

Claiana. Clearly the strangest concert of the night, but by no means the worst. Although there’s clearly some problematic afro-beat dragging from those keys and beats, it is shockingly danceable thanks to a mesmerizing voice from its charismatic of simple manners singer. Probably a lot of people will be drunk by then and asking “what the hell?”, so this promises to go splendidly.

Sabre. This would work a lot during the afternoon, but I kinda concur why Milhões didn’t put all his triangles in one basket, because right after Claiana and just before the DJs, there were no other best fitting name than Sabre. Prepare for afternoon coming again and much dancing to do because these tropical rhythms aren’t of possible resistance. This fun and still three full days to go, already worth it.

And after all this, don’t miss the disc-jocking of DJ Lince, DJ Quesadilla, Pedro Beça and DJ TOFU, entitled hosts DJs. Also, during the day, to watch: Phase, the magnificent combo of Ghuna X and Black Bombaim’s Ricardo Miranda; Killing Frost, harcore punk from a returning band of the Portuguese scene; and Holocausto Canibal, given the honors to initiate the metal of the festival, going death. And it’s on, welcome Milhões de Festa 2013!

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bernardo@bolachas.org