April is the cruelest month. You’ve been drowning in work for weeks now, you only heard back from two of those job apps (both negative), and the summer still seems far off on the horizon. And I mean, do you even want the summer to come? Where’s that job, eh?
Okay, maybe I’m projecting a bit, but April is indeed a touch grueling for the campus music fan, with a sick show happening every weekend! It’s all a bit overwhelming, but hopefully I can at least help you get psyched (and knowledgeable!) about these lineups. For my own selfish reasons, I’m going to boil them down into just two columns, so that means there’s a lot to cover this week.
First up is Y2K MOSHfest 2012-2014, 2016, Pitzer Music Coalition’s annual punk show at the Clocktower. The lineup features Death Lens and Mr. Me, both local acts that should perfectly scratch that itch for catharsis. Death Lens is wonderfully snotty (think more Ramones, less FIDLAR) and should have you yelling along in no time. Although they haven’t put out anything in a while, they apparently have an album coming soon, so I imagine they’ll be testing out some of that new material.
Mr. Me are less straightforward but equally prime for moshing. Their only recorded output is a three-tracker from a couple years back, but its slick basslines and mathy grooves are as compelling as ever. Plus, there’s the student duo Future Dads, a KSPC favorite. So if you’re looking for a welcoming, sweaty mass of people to mash bodies with tonight between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight, there’s no better place to be.
Next is Nochella, Pomona Events Committee’s annual music festival, happening next Saturday, Apr. 16, on Walker Beach from 4-10 p.m. This year’s lineup is a bit different from previous years', and it’s all the more exciting. Whereas past years have emphasized getting a massive lineup—often of local punk bands plus maybe a biggish headliner or two—this year, there was an emphasis behind the scenes on getting one massive brand name and actually supporting that headliner with a full stage setup.
While the rumors of Young Thug headlining sadly failed to materialize, we at least got brilliant Chattanooga MC Isaiah Rashad out of the deal.
Rashad’s been a bit of a rising star for a few years now, signing to Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, SZA, etc.) and releasing the critically acclaimed Cilvia Demo EP back in 2014. In the meantime, though, he’s been relatively silent, apparently crafting his debut album. He’s only revealed two tracks from the as-yet untitled project, but they’re both silky smooth, the perfect soundtrack to an early summer eve out on Walker Beach. Rashad’s music doesn’t quite bang, but it’s the exact right vibe for a headlining slot at Nochella. He’s sure to bring out a massive crowd from our surrounding community too, which is always a treat in itself.
Before him is Dent May, a Los Angeles singer-songwriter that specializes in lush, psychedelic popscapes. He originally garnered hype back in 2009 when Animal Collective signed him to their label, Paw Tracks, but he’s been putting in work ever since. His last record, Warm Blanket, was an update of Brian Wilson’s classic songwriting style, and he even showed up on the last track on New Orleans rapper Pell’s sick first mixtape, Floating While Dreaming. He and his band should have no problem warming the crowd up for Rashad.
Before that, we have a showcase of some extremely homegrown talent. First up is Rancho Cucamonga feminist punk outfit The Groans. If their (free!) Rest in Peace EP from January is anything to go by, they will absolutely slay it. After that are Pomona’s very own jazz professor Bobby Bradford and his quartet. I’m not sure how we convinced him to play, but an actual jazz performance nestled in this lineup is a lovely addition to the afternoon.
And of course, besides all that will be student bands and DJs, plus a whole raft of free burgers, snacks, and drinks. A really wonderful edition of an already typically wonderful event, it’s sure to be one of the musical highlights of this semester.