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Cherry Glazerr

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FYF 2017: Still the great contender of all summer music festivals

It’s been seven years since I’ve been attending FYF Fest, and though the festival has gone through many, many changes throughout the years I can confidently say that it still retains a tone that clearly favors music lovers. Even with the higher price tag, and an additional third day, it’s almost as if it still needs to present itself as such. Given that FYF is still not an immediate sold-out event, there’s still a fine line that the event coordinators have to walk. While it’s mostly a given that you invite the likes of Missy Elliott and Frank Ocean to gather crowds into such a costly endeavor, it’s still just as necessary to make sure that your undercard is just as valuable. 

Considering how FYF began as a gathering place for post-hardcore and punk fans with refined taste, there’s always going to be a certain expectation it has to meet. But it had to grow, and if that means bringing forth an Apple-endorsed artist like 6lack and current hot commodity Mura Masa to spike up on sales then so be it. It’s leagues better than succumbing to EDM flavor-of-the-week fodder, and still, they’ll still invite the likes of Blonde Redhead (who had a sizable crowd at the more communal Club Stage even if they didn’t play one of their banner records) and emo purists Cap N’ Jazz (another explosive performance, even if the tambourine tossing was both childish and obnoxious at once) to appease an early thirty-something like myself.

But mainly, I was concerned about how the festival would benefit the good amount of local talent this city has. And though the final tally was scantier than other years, it was still able to deliver on that front. If you were there early enough on Sunday afternoon, the adorably-named Cherry Glazerr did offer a welcome shot of adrenaline to those who needed to cure themselves of Saturday’s post-Frank Ocean hangover. The same goes for genre-bending four piece Chicano Batman, who also brought a large gathering to the Lawn Stage with their 4 pm slot (a time that brought an underwhelming crowd the day before). But I can’t say that all the local acts scored a perfect ten: Moses Sumney was too reliant on the intricate trickery of his recorded material instead of trying to translate it to a more engrossing live experience, and Thundercat affirmatively clocked in as if he had to fulfill his day job. And yeah, Ty Segall once again delivered a knockout performance (he was gracious and honored to be something of an opening act to Iggy Pop, and I can’t imagine anyone else deserving it more).

So aside from the strangely-concocted set times (lining up Built to Spill, Perfume Genius and King Krule so close to each other just, well, cruel), I can say with much assurance that FYF is still the strongest contender of all summer music festivals. Sure, it doesn’t have the allure of a desert landscape or even an expansive park to its advantage, as the main stage has the appearance of a makeshift parking lot even if it works in a logistical sense, but it’s still very convenient to navigate without straining your legs too much. And they’re still intent on bringing special live experiences you can’t find anywhere. With FYF it’s all about that lineup, and thankfully, there was so much to see this year that you were bound to miss some things. And that’s not a bad problem to have. 

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FYF 2017 preview: beloved local festival is one of this summer’s most diverse

In 2017, FYF will really prove their high stature as one of this country’s most laboriously-curated musical festivals. The Exposition Park-hosted event has had some of the today's biggest acts, sure, but it also had to quicken the pace so it could keep up with the logistical demands it entails. Now that they’re practically veterans in the music festival market, a race that sees an increasing amount of choices year after year, the one reason why FYF continues to succeed is because it hasn’t lost sight of its core audience.

This year’s is also particularly notable for having easily one of the most diverse, and doing so while retaining their reputation as percipient tastemakers. A quick glance at the lineup shows they’re devoted to bringing aboard a rich array of legendary performers in one single weekend (Iggy Pop, Missy Elliott, Nine Inch Nails and Bjork), all while welcoming an impressive selection of sought-after critical darlings (Frank Ocean, Mitski, 6lack, Princess Nokia, Big Thief).

Since we primarily cover local artists, this preview will focus on shining the spotlight on the five local artists were most excited to see. We’re also proud to say that two of the artists featured on this list were covered at The Deli during their early days, so we’re delighted to see them perform among such a high-caliber roster.

1. Frank Ocean: Oh, Frank. You almost had us on 2015. Even if the prospect of seeing Ocean two years ago seemed unlikely from the start, we’re pretty confident that the elusive R&B megastar is going to impress after releasing 2016’s genre-defying release, Blonde. The time just wasn’t right, seeing as we honestly had no idea what he was up to at the time. Having Kanye West as pinch hitter while he was on the DL was quite the tall order, but in our heart of hearts, we really wanted Ocean all along. And our expectations couldn't be any higher.

2. Moses Sumney: There’s a lot riding on Moses Sumney, an artist who was voted as our Best Emerging Artist of the year back in 2013! His genre-ending electro-soul has had us in awe for years now, but he hasn’t quite broken through yet despite his splendid last EP, Lamentations. But Sumney just brought to us a wonderful gift, entitled “Doomed”, a patiently spellbinding new single that has us really intrigued for his still-mysterious new project. His set is not to be missed, and should act as a primer for potential world domination.

3. Chicano Batman: Seeing as Los Angeles is a hub of multi-ethnic culture (I’m Puerto Rican myself), it’s fitting that FYF is beginning to acknowledge how much the Latino community also enjoys the independent persuasion. And having Mexican-American four-piece Chicano Batman is the perfect starting point, a band whose eclectic mixture of psychedelic rock deserves a larger audience.

4. Cherry Glazzer: Cherry Glazerr’s no-frills jams distill guitar rock to its barest and most pure, and with a touch of defiant feminism to boot. Hot on the heels of their latest LP, Apocalypstick, the hard-rocking trio are going to satiate the appetite of those who like their riffs heavy and their hooks sharp.

5. Flying Lotus: Around here, we like to make fun of how many times Ty Segall has attended FYF. (Note: too many for us to remember, but we really don’t mind.) And Flying Lotus comes at a not-so-distant second, but this time, he’s bringing a new set up made up of 3D Visuals. From what we’ve seen it’s quite the stunner, though honestly, we’re glad he’s actually incorporating his own material instead of playing another DJ set.

Update: Set list times are now up! Click here for more info. - Juan Rodríguez

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Cherry Glazerr unleash their debut LP in January

Fuzz pop trio Cherry Glazerr are one of the most hotly-tipped acts in the local garage scene, having opened for acts such as Mikal Cronin, The Black Lips, and likeminded residents Bleached. The band balances a heavy ration of noise that's both sour and sweet, carried by a visceral punk energy and whip-smart melodies that are stripped to their primal essence. The songs on their upcoming debut album, "Haxel Princess", take on a nineties throwback sound in the best sense of the term, best represented in their gnarled, yet fluid compositional elements. It'll be released through Burger Records on January 14th.

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Cherry Glazerr: Live at Jubilee Fest

Cherry Glazerr is an apropos title for these teenagers making spaced out sugary pop music and having more fun than you at sixteen. They played to a small crowd of fans and won over new admirers early in the day on the main Sunset stage. The brief set was filled mostly by super short tracks of sweet melodies and wry lyrics describing youthful innocence by singer Sophia Creevy. - Richard Kim


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