Starfucker : In the past, Portland, OR-based Starfucker (STRFKR) has received almost as much attention for its not-always accessible moniker as for its immensely accessible dance hooks. But, having flirted briefly with a couple of name changes, the group is now firmly settled on Starfucker and so the focus can rightly return to what got people talking in the first place: the quartet’s endlessly catchy, hook-laden pop.
And there’s no better place for that conversation to begin than with Reptilians, the band’s second album and first with Polyvinyl.
Lyrically, Reptilians focuses primarily on death and the end of the world, two intertwined subjects at the forefront of songwriter Josh Hodges mind following the passing of his grandmother.
Yet, amazingly, the record manages to be not the slightest bit depressing. In reality, it’s quite the opposite a trait likely attributed to the fact that the band, like British philosopher Alan Watts (whose lectures are excerpted at various intervals), believes death is responsible for giving meaning to life. For Starfucker, this comforting notion is expressed musically via vibrant crescendos, explosive drum beats, and layered synth melodies that drive a theatrical live show where dance party meets Roxy Music.
As such, Reptilians effortlessly marches from the stripped-bare psychedelia of “Born”, which conjures David Byrne’s ghost, to the funeral parade of “Bury Us Alive” (a track that greets death with open arms in a moment of animated celebration), to “Death as a Fetish,” where the title becomes a liberating mantra sung over an immediately hummable keyboard-driven loop.
Just as with the band’s previous two releases, Reptilians was written almost entirely by principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Hodges. This time around, however, the group’s sound is bolstered by the addition of Keil Corcoran (whom Hodges describes as a human drum machine) and producer Jacob Portrait (The Dandy Warhols, Mint Chicks). Hodges first recorded the album’s primary tracks in his bedroom and on the road while the band, rounded out by bassist Shawn Glassford, relentlessly toured the country this past year.
Then, Starfucker convened with Portrait at various Portland studios to record the drums as well as add a few final flourishes. The result is Starfucker’s most well-rounded and full-sounding album to date a blissfully buoyant affair that will have you dancing to songs about death while having the time of your life
Steffi Graf: Steffi Graf is the LA based dj/production duo of Latane Hughes and Antone Proler. Along with frequent shows in the LA area, Steffi has shared her personal variety of House w/ recent appearances at Snowball Music Festival, Pacific Festival, and a quaint, rollaway pirate ship in Las Vegas.
Mystery Skulls: Mystery Skulls is the name of Luis Dubuc (The Secret Handshake)’s new project. Formed in 2011, It is a blend of funk, soul, and electronic dance beats.
Dubuc has released several promotional videos for Mystery Skulls, mixing his songs with retro footage of Star Wars, He-Man, and other classics. However, Mystery Skulls has only recently gained notoriety after a Phoenix Wright video was posted with the song, “Money”.
Zac Waters: LA native Zak Waters is a young, multi-talented singer/songwriter and producer who has his biggest song out to date (as of Aug 24th) with DJ giant 'Madeon' called “The City.” "The City" hit #1 on Hype Machine within 3 days of its release. MtvBuzzworthy.com wrote, “The L.A. musician's new jams sound like Foster the People getting pumped with Maroon 5, all high-energy Saturday-night synths and soulful, Adam Levine-y vocals.”
Waters’ first taste of success came in 2010 as a member of pop/rock group ‘Blueskyreality.’ The band opened for Third Eye Blind on multiple legs of their tour. As a kid, Zak was very into rap and R&B music. Some of his favorite childhood singers include Al Green, Musiq Soul Child, James Brown, among other R&B legends that resonate clearly through his vocals, so it comes as no surprise that this little Italian man ended up with a sultry, diverse vocal ability.
Waters played 7 showcases at this year’s SXSW and has been working diligently to promote his newest single, “Skinny Dipping in the Deep End,” which continues to gain attention and buzz from many top blogs. His unconventional performance style, Prince-like dance moves, and sweet, soulful harmonies will surely take the music world by storm.
DJ Irias: Started as a drummer, grew up in the Bay... then became a producer & DJ in LA.