The Top 10 Performances At This Year’s Magical Outside Lands Festival

first_imgDuran DuranThe children who grew watching episodes of The Muppet Show came of age in the early eighties, so it’s only fitting that the other big nostalgia act of the weekend was one of the biggest pop sensations of the decade, Duran Duran. The years have been kind to both the remaining original members and their catalog of hits. Unlike many of their contemporaries Duran Duran crafted songs of lasting complexity to accompany their insidious hooks and the mixture of sentimentality and rock solid song craft had the Friday Polo Fields stage crowd begging for more when the trip down memory lane concluded. But then, they say it’s always best to leave the crowd “Hungry Like The Wolf.” E-40 and Warren GToward the back of the main stage area were two small-venue domes designated the Heineken House. Various DJs and smaller acts played there over the weekend, but the main attraction came on a tiny makeshift stage outside it for the surprise reunion between the Bay Area’s E-40 and SoCal’s Warren G Saturday evening. Naturally, the massive turnout led to a logistical nightmare, with bottlenecks trapping fans at the back of the crowd and those walking to Radiohead. But the breezy performance was a highlight reel of rap history. Classics like “Super Hyphy,” “Saturday,” and “Tell Me When To Go” were mixed with more recent tracks like Big Sean’s “IDFWU.” Whether it was a Bay Area diehard, a hip-hop historian, or an interested passerby, that packed-in performance was one that everyone involved will never forget. Any music festival that has an offering called “Wine Lands” understands the idea that things get better with age. Outside Lands is the embodiment of that.After nine years, the festival become one of the premier weekends of San Francisco live music calendar, with a developed personality and an eclectic culture that surrounds it. There are after parties and late night shows in every room in the city. From musicians to fans and everything in-between, the late-summer ways of the Bay Area are beaming for those three days in August.This year’s edition on August 5-7 boasted one of the strongest festival line-ups in the country, with trailblazers from every genre and generational heavyweights playing throughout. But, the early sets and up-and-coming acts more than held their own. Outside Lands always helps artists reel in new fans and, like every good festival, rewards the open-minded. Load remaining images LCD SoundsystemThe first moment Outside Lands really came together was when LCD Soundsystem just shut up and played the hits on Friday night. Since reuniting this year after a five-year hiatus, the New York City collective has come back with serious intentions, rocking every single gig like only they can. The energy was palpable as James Murphy showed no signs of decline, maintaining sky-high intensity on “Losing My Edge,” a masterfully built “Get Innocuous!” and the steady ways of “Home.” The sing-along to “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” was elevated to “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends” to close things on a high note. Dr.Teeth & The Electric MayhemIn a weekend full of nostalgic moments, the Dr.Teeth & The Electric Mayhem set stood head and shoulders above the rest, not unlike how the puppets themselves were literally head and shoulders above the deftly skilled puppeteers hidden below the stage. A spell was cast over the audience, bringing cherished childhood memories to life before the misty eyes of children of all ages. With sly nods to the adults in the audience the short set featured a few skits, a few videos, a couple of classic rock covers and literally all the love in the park the true spirit of Jim Henson came alive in the hearts of all within earshot. LettuceBrooklyn based leaders of the future of funk, Lettuce ended a three festival in three day scramble across the country with a blistering set of deep funk and crowd pleasing jams that showed no signs of weariness from time keeper Adam Deitch, Shmeeans or the rest of the boys as the tore through a packed set of funk from the opening of the first notes of “The Force” until the last echoes faded. Though they somehow recovered enough strength to put on a late night show out in the city when Lettuce left the stage in the park they were clearly being held up by the deafening cheers from the astounded crowd. There’s so much happening at once over the course of the three days by the bay during Outside Lands that it is impossible to see it all, and pointless to try. With so many opportunities to be exposed to new sights, sounds and flavors as well as relieving heart warming touch stones of your past the key to getting the most out of Outside Lands it to trust that wherever you are in the bustling festival grounds, you are bound to be surrounded by the magic of creation and love.Check out a full gallery of photos from Outside Lands by our own Rex Thomson below. Big GramsThe collaboration between Big Boi and Phantogram continues to be a favorite addition to festival line-ups throughout the country, and was placed perfectly into the late afternoon on Saturday. With a studio album and a year under their belt, this marriage of hip-hop and electronic music is on full display on “Fell in the Sun” and “Lights On.” And, as they’ve done since their inaugural performance across the Bay Bridge at Treasure Island last year, Big Boi worked in Outkast originals, leading a crowd-pleasing “Ms. Jackson.” Maybe just as important, though, was that Big Grams’ laid the foundation for the uncomfortably crowded pop-up show outside the Heineken House a few hours later. Here were ten of our favorite sets from this year’s event.RadioheadThese titans of experimental alternative put on a powerful performance in the headliner spot Saturday night. After a somber opening with “Burn the Witch” and “Daydreaming,” Radiohead and its faithful went on a journey dominated by some of their most captivating ballads as Thom Yorke conducted every turn. “Pyramid Song,” “Everything In Its Right Place,” and “Nude” were broken apart by more danceable pieces like “Lotus Flower” and “The Gloaming.” Radiohead mixed fan favorites with deep cuts like all the greats can. It was a vastly different experience to those who chose Zedd, which was given an unfortunate slot on the schedule. Those that stuck with Radiohead were given what they wanted, and that was a breathtaking set by one of the best to ever to do it. Kamasi WashingtonRising jazz talent Kamasi Washington continued the unearthly display of skill and improvisation that has made his shows with elements of his band The Next Step and the collective The West Coast Get Down. It’s been a long time since such a deeply instrumental and progressive jazz voice has found such a wide and main stream following, and it stems from Washington’s undeniable brilliance. His ability as a band leader, knowing when to not only let his fellow players shine but to dutifully call out their efforts for praise, made his scene stealing leads all the most impressive for the honest love for the craft behind them. Third Eye BlindA welcome blast from the 1990s, Third Eye Blind turned nostalgic listeners into enthusiastic participants, running through the hits like “Jumper,” “Graduate” and “Never Let Go” as tens of thousands echoed frontman Stephan Jenkins’ vocals. He praised the band’s longtime support from the San Francisco Bay Area, which gave way to one of the highlights of the weekend. The band brought out members of the Magik Magik Orchestra for a portion of the set, including a well-received David Bowie tribute in red Ziggy Stardust wigs.Jack GarrattThe electronic Swiss Army Knife Jack Garratt breathed life and helped welcome the sunshine back into Golden Gate Park Sunday afternoon. The one-man show from the UK had the intimate hills of the Sutro Stage vibing with every beat as he flawlessly turned loops into dense compositions. His humility was met with support when the crowd provided the vocal sample on “The Love You’re Given” and welcomed all of his debuted tracks with open arms. It’s also hard to not win over a crowd when the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme is worked into the set list. His skill for mixing electronic, hip-hop with the structure of an R&B song was as smooth as butter, and turned new listeners into new fans relatively quickly during his 50-minute set. VulfpeckVulfpeck has been skyrocketing in 2016, and led a light-hearted afternoon set at the Panhandle Stage. On day one, the do-it-all foursome showcased their mastery of minimalist funk as each member bounced from one instrument to the next. Theo Katzman kept the audience not only engaged but participating throughout, somehow directing the crowd to sing in three different keys on multiple occasions, including a lively rendition  of “Back Pocket.” After everyone got acquainted with an “Outro” opener, Vulfpeck flashed their instrumentation on numbers like “Fugue State” and “Christmas in L.A.” that was properly adapted to “Christmas in The Bay.” A welcome Antwaun Stanley appearance also meant “1612” and “Funky Duck” had their moments to shine.last_img read more

A bleak, troubling history

first_imgLaurence Ralph, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellow, has been studying the issue of police violence in Chicago from the perspective of its survivors and community organizers. Drawing on his research, he says there is a need to think critically about the state and practices of policing. A scathing report released yesterday by a task force appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the Chicago Police have “no regard for minority lives.”The Gazette sat down with Ralph, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Departments of Anthropology and African and African American Studies, to talk about his research, the limits of the American legal system in addressing issues surrounding police violence, and the current climate on the matter. GAZETTE: You’ve been doing research on police violence in Chicago for the past decade, and the topic is very relevant today. What can your research tell us about the issue of police brutality against unarmed black men?RALPH: The national debate about police violence in America stems from the growing collective awareness that police officers are contributing to an alarming number of violent deaths. My research shows that instead of assuming that lethal force was either necessary or the momentary overreach of a rogue cop, instead of assuming that these cruel events are accidents, many Americans now question whether lethal force is a fundamental aspect of modern-day policing.GAZETTE: Part of your research has focused on the actions by Chicago activists to air issues of police violence before international bodies. Could you tell us more about this?RALPH: I’ve been looking at activist organizations in Chicago that have gone to the United Nations in Geneva to try to make police violence a human rights issue and to get accountability. I’m also looking at the case for reparations for victims of reported police torture in Chicago. I’ve been studying the history in Chicago. The first case is from 1984, but since then more and more victims have come out. The city of Chicago has already paid over $200 million on legal fees and settlements to victims, and recently some of the victims have been awarded $5.5 million in reparations. There is an increasing effort to make the public aware of this problem, but also to find creative ways of addressing it. The international arena is one example.GAZETTE: Can you tell us more about this? Is there a precedent for U.S. groups taking their grievances to the international arena?RALPH: There is a group in Chicago called We Charge Genocide that went to the UN in 2014. They get their name from a petition of African-Americans, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, among others, who went to the UN in 1951 to address the issue of systematic racism against African-Americans. The Chicago group takes its inspiration from this prior group and is making some of the same arguments. They’re trying to follow a historical precedent. They’re saying that although we had the Civil Rights movement in the United States, there are still big hurdles to overcome, particularly when it comes to race and legal justice.GAZETTE: What happened with the first group? What do you think is going to happen with the efforts of the Chicago group to find justice?RALPH: Back in 1951, people in the United States were afraid of the threat of communism. People were afraid that African-Americans would be more sympathetic to communism and subvert the United States from inside. There was a lot of effort not to talk about the first trip to the UN, but black newspapers talked about it. In the Chicago case, the goal is not merely to get particular sanctions on the Chicago Police Department, but also to give victims of police violence an outlet to express their grievances.GAZETTE: For these activists, what does the international stage offer that the American legal system may lack?RALPH: International laws give people a different language to talk about systematic racism and the fact that African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by police violence. Often within the U.S. legal system, police violence cases are looked at individually, and everything else is irrelevant. There is no way to talk about the fact that a particular racial group is overwhelmingly being impacted by police violence. So the international stage gives you another set of terms and allows for a broader set of arguments to be made. I think that beyond sanctions, the language is important, and also, since this latest group went to the UN, a lot of other incidents of police violence have happened in Chicago. Their efforts have helped the public mobilize around the issue. The activism that took place last year wouldn’t have been that effective if they hadn’t gone to the UN.GAZETTE: What do activists in Chicago think about the American legal system?RALPH: The group I’m researching is frustrated in the sense that, oftentimes in the American legal system, racial factors are excluded. You can’t talk about race; you can’t talk about social position. And oftentimes, the police are given the benefit of the doubt and they’re more trusted in court than the victims of police violence. But the international organizations can look at patterns of police abuse, and they take into consideration the rights and the word of citizens first, when filing a petition. While in the U.S. this could be an open-and-shut case, that’s the starting point for the international bodies.GAZETTE: How would you describe the police violence situation in Chicago compared with other American cities?RALPH: Part of the problem is that we don’t actually know the scope of police violence. We can’t make an assessment about which cities are better or worse in terms of police violence because a lot of what we need to keep track of, we haven’t been keeping track of on a large-scale level. What I’m focusing on is the culture of policing. I ask: What gives people an incentive to enact violence when they don’t necessarily need to? What kind of incentives are there to rise up the ranks within the police department? And why do some police officers keep silent when they know that misconduct is taking place? I hope that these cultural factors will be relevant to other police departments in other cities across the United States.GAZETTE: What were the findings of your research in Chicago?RALPH: I wanted to examine the contradiction between the fact that the police are supposed to safeguard citizens and yet they’re contributing to an alarming number of violent deaths. I’m focusing on the factors that keep police misconduct hidden. Much of my work looks at the phenomenon of police torture, specifically. I’m interested in criminal suspects who have been brutalized or tortured in order to coerce confessions, and what keeps these methods under wraps. I find that, although many officers might know or suspect misconduct, they don’t want to tell anyone because it could compromise them or put them in a position to risk their careers. Some develop strategies to avoid getting knowledge. The larger issue is how the police departments operate in America today.GAZETTE: Would you say that there is a climate of looking the other way in most police departments when it comes to issues of misconduct?RALPH: In the cases I have studied, there is a climate of looking the other way, definitely. There is a lot of pressure to both get arrests and confessions. And there are disincentives for outing police officers.GAZETTE: What do you hope to see happen with grievances of police violence?RALPH: My hope is that more creative solutions can be imagined to solve the problem. I don’t know what those solutions will be yet. But what I’m seeing in the research is that the same solutions are being imagined as a way to solve the problem. Some examples are: another report, another committee created to address the problem, and more personnel being fired. But if we look at this from a long, historical perspective, we see that those changes don’t affect what’s actually going on. My hope is that we find another way to think about what can be done, and that’s the importance of going to the UN. Not to say that’s the answer, but it gives people a space to air grievances, an alternative vision of the law than what we currently have in the United States.Ralph, a Joy Foundation Fellow at the Institute this year, will present  “Witnessing Death: Policing, Race, and the Limits of Democracy in the 21st Century” on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden St., Cambridge. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.last_img read more

Chinese firm Sinohydro to build first large-scale solar plant in Guinea-Bissau

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Co (Abrec), which promotes renewables and energy efficiency across the continent, has awarded the contract to build Guinea-Bissau’s first large-scale PV plant to state-owned Chinese hydropower business Sinohydro.The China International Contractors Association said the project was tendered along with two 1MW hybrid solar-diesel plants in Gabu and Canchungo by Abrec in March 2019.The solar asset, planned for Gardete near the city of Bissau, will sell power to national utility EAGB under a long-term contract. The West African Development Bank is backing the project with a $42.9 million loan.Guinea-Bissau relies on fossil fuels and solar has seen limited development, with the exception of rural electrification initiatives. The nation has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa, as well as electricity prices among the highest on the continent. As a result, around 95% of the energy consumed in Guinea-Bissauan households comes from biomass.The African Development Bank recently stated Guinea-Bissau has only 11MW of installed power generation capacity, almost all of it thermal generation. “Real capacity is only 8MW, only 5MW of which is available 24 hours per day due to the maintenance required and the inability of the electric power utility to obtain the necessary fuel,” a report by the bank said. The planned solar plant in Gardete would almost triple Guinea Bissau’s power generation capacity as a result.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Solar project to more than double Guinea-Bissau generation capacity Chinese firm Sinohydro to build first large-scale solar plant in Guinea-Bissaulast_img read more