Cayuga Sound 2018: X Ambassadors & Young The Giant

DSP Shows and This Fiction present

Cayuga Sound 2018: X Ambassadors & Young The Giant

Matt and Kim, Sofi Tukker, Talib Kweli, Buddy, Lady D & The Shadow Spirits, No-Comply, KNEW

Fri · September 21, 2018 - Sat · September 22, 2018

4:00 pm

Two Day Passes are available.

Experience Cayuga Sound in first class by adding one of the following packages at check-out.

VIP Package #1 ($300) includes:

+Meet and Greet with X Ambassadors
+Catered Dinner at Stewart Park hosted by X Ambassadors
+Special acoustic performance by X Ambassadors
+Access to the VIP tent during the festival with specialty food/drink options available for purchase
+Exclusive VIP viewing area during the festival
+Cayuga Sound Mega VIP Merch Pack
+Access to all off-site special events

VIP Package #2 ($225) includes:

+Catered Dinner at Stewart Park hosted by X Ambassadors
+Special acoustic performance by X Ambassadors
+Access to the VIP tent during the festival with specialty food/drink options available for purchase
+Exclusive VIP viewing area during the festival
+Cayuga Sound VIP Merch Pack
+Access to all off-site special events

X Ambassadors
X Ambassadors
Young The Giant
Young The Giant
There comes a time in a young band’s life when they hit that sweet spot where their voice, their sound, and their unity as a band gel perfectly. For Los Angeles-based indie rockers Young the Giant, that time is now. This trifecta of musical magic manifests itself on the band’s third album, Home of the Strange, on Fueled by Ramen.



“With these new songs, we’ve fully embraced what it is to be lyricists. We’re not trying to combine fiction writing and lyricism anymore,” explains singer Sameer Gadhia, who mi-nored in fiction writing at Stanford University where he studied human biology before dropping out to pursue music. “We’ve also taken a collective approach to the thematic and lyrical development of each song on this album. Most of these songs came together during the demo process at either Seahorse Studios in downtown Los Angeles where Francois, Eric and I would spend hours collaborating over coffee on the rooftop, or at our producer’s home studio in West Los Angeles where we would do the same on his back patio. We used to view songwriting more like being a fly on the wall and not being in the story. But, on this record, we’re in the story more than ever. It’s personal, but universal at the same time.”



The new record not only displays the group’s new heights as lyricists and communicators, but it shows a rich, musical growth for the band as well. “We’ve always struggled to really capture what we do live on record. We accomplish that on this release. Now that we’re on our third album we finally figured out how we need to work together. It helped that we had a theme and we all kept on that path in one solid mindset throughout the process.”



The theme of Home of the Strange is of the modern American immigrant story. It’s especial-ly relevant to the quintet as they’re from different ethnic backgrounds and most are immi-grants or first-generation Americans. Gadhia is Indian-American, Jacob Tilley (guitar) is British, Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals) is a New Jersey-born Italian-Jewish, Payam Doostza-deh (bass) is Persian-American, and Francois Comtois (drums/vocals) is French-Canadian. But, it also speaks to anyone who feels like they don’t belong, or feels marginalized, angry about the state of affairs of our nation (especially in this polarizing election year), or hope-less about a better future.



On “Amerika,” for instance, the band explores the idea of the American dream and how to reconcile that with the various cultures they each grew up with. The song, which USA Today named one of the 10 Best Songs of the Week, was inspired by Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel of the same name. It’s the story of a 16-year-old boy named Karl who flees Germany under uncertain circumstances looking for a better life in New York and struggles to find a place to belong between the two cultures.



“We find ourselves searching for our own ethics in between the often-contradictory beliefs of this polarized American Modern Age and those of the romanticized cultures of our fore-fathers,” reveals Gadhia, whom The New York Times declared “one of the great contempo-rary rock voices.” “Our perspective is irreversibly tinged with this rhetoric of the immi-grant conscience and guilt. Searching for the ‘American dream’ is to lust for excess, power, and sex. We realize that when we achieve our goals, they often leave us more hollow than before.”



“Home of the Strange,” meanwhile, is a tongue-in-cheek play on the national anthem. “I’ve always had to reconcile the ideals of my Indian culture that my parents tried to instill in me with what it means to be American and figuring out what my American dream is. There was always a conflict of where it is that I exist. Am I American? Am I Indian? I always felt that I was somewhere in-between. I wanted to find a place to belong.”



“Something to Believe In” was inspired by conversations with students they met at colleges in 2015 while performing on tour. It’s about being brave enough to forge your own path if the one we’re raised to follow fails. “Everybody wants something to believe in,” he says. “But what many of us are taught to believe in – go to school, get a job, have a family – doesn’t always work. Kids are coming out of college with serious debt and jobs are scarce. They’re realizing the dream is broken. It can be liberating and scary at the same time to carve your own path instead.”



The album’s most hopeful song, “Repeat,” is a call to action to not repeat history. “The only times people tend to make big changes is when they must – when they are faced with some-thing greater than themselves. Things seem bad now with environmental issues, the econ-omy, the job market, but sometimes the best changes come when we are at our lowest,” says Gadhia.



Musically, the band came into the recording sessions with a specific sonic vision. “We wanted a full, live band sound, but at the same time really direct and up-front. It’s the per-fect combination of old school and new school. It’s like a contemporary hi-fi record. We fi-nally achieved that live sound we’d been touching upon on previous records, but it’s full realized on this one,” says Gadhia of the sessions with producer Alex Salibian (Elle King, Mikky Ekko) and executive producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay Z, fun.), who won the 2016 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year for his work with Mark Ronson and Nate Ruess, among others.



The band also finally figured out how to truly write together as a band. “Most bands don’t actually write together,” notes Gadhia. “It’s a great concept, but it wasn’t until this record that we actually fully achieved it. Our new producer Alex really helped us get there. We re-alized the genesis of a song or its end point can come from any member. And we all switched around, too. We played different instruments. I played a Hammond organ on ‘Amerika,’ and Jacob played vibraphone while Francois sang the verse. Overall, Fran and Eric sang and wrote more this time around. It’s really our most collaborative effort.”



Since the band’s 2010 inception, Young the Giant has made a name for itself in rock as the “thinking man’s band,” winning over fans, radio, and press with their incendiary live shows, strong musicianship, and poignant lyrics. The band’s 2010 self-titled debut, which reached No. 6 on the Rock and Alternative album charts, featured the RIAA Gold-certified hits, “Cough Syrup” and “My Body,” which peaked at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively on Alternative Radio. The band’s sophomore release 2014’s Mind Over Matter hit No. 7 on The Billboard 200 and spawned the hits, “It’s About Time,” which reached No. 2 on the Alternative Radio chart and the title track, which hit No. 15.



Even with chart successes, critical praise (Rolling Stone, Billboard), coveted television ap-pearances (The Late Show with David Letterman, MTV Video Music Awards), and high profile festivals (Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo), Young the Giant still feel like they have a lot more to do and, more important, a lot more to say as a band.



“We have a platform and we have our own beliefs, but at the same time, what’s amazing about songwriting, music, or literature is that it brings people together and it shows people that everyone has the same problems and wants the same thing. This record is really a call to consciousness to really understand our predicament,” adds Gadhia.
Matt and Kim
Matt and Kim
*Language not suitable for all ages*

For many bands, making music is all about the routine of recording an annual album, or being able to tour in progressively bigger venues. Not Matt and Kim. "Our goal is to make music we want to hear," says Matt Johnson, who co-founded the band with Kim Schifino. "When it comes time to make a new album, I'm just so excited, since I know we have all these ideas and I just want to get them out there." As for the band's extra-emphatic live shows, which these days happen in large venues, he explains, "We've always just really enjoyed playing music, and things have kept growing."

Matt and Kim's enthusiasm comes across loud and clear on the band's new album, Lightning, its most diverse and developed to date. From the relentless drive of “Now” to the dance-fueled beat of “Let’s Go” to the more contemplative “Ten Dollars I Found,” Lightning is the strongest distillation yet of Matt and Kim’s unique sound: a spunky hybrid of indelible songs, an emphatic beat and almost tangible energy, mixed with the duo’s influence of listening nonstop to Top 40 Hip-Hop and pop-punk.

To make the album, Matt and Kim spent six months working in their home studio in Brooklyn, producing the record themselves. Lightning is a touch more minimal than their earlier work – with layers taken away, instead of added, enabling its intense performances and memorable tunes to really come to the forefront. “What’s made the songs on this album really strong is we’ve been able to pull a lot off – to not have so much going on – and still have a strong song,” Kim explains.

“It’s easier to make a song with a lot going on,” Matt adds. “It feels very safe. It’s like putting on a lot of clothes: you feel all covered up so no one can judge just one aspect of it, but when you try to break it down to be as simple as can be, you’re really baring it all. When you can see clearly what’s going on, those are the times that the songs are easiest to connect to.”

Connecting with their audience is certainly a key focus for Matt and Kim. The indie dance duo’s live shows – which are legendary for constant, in-your-face exuberance – feel more like vibrant, sweaty loft parties than traditional concerts, for both audiences and the band. “I think we’ve managed to continue to make them feel intimate,” says Matt. “When we first started playing venues instead of playing on the floor at parties, we tried hard to keep the vibe of ‘we’re all doing this together and having a wild time’ going. The show is not just the two of us: it’s the 3002 of us, or however big the venue is.” Or, as in the words of Rolling Stone: “Matt and Kim’s reputation as a live act precedes them – and justifiably so. Simply put, they are a two-person dynamo, frantic, tightly wound, and full of good cheer. Their performances are as physical as they are musical. . . . For sheer adrenaline-per-second, no other band comes close.”

The band started in 2004, essentially by accident when Matt and Kim were art students at the prestigious Pratt Institute, where they studied film and illustration, respectively. When Kim wanted to learn to play drums and Matt (who'd been in bands before) was getting his head around a new keyboard, the band was born. Since then, they have earned a Gold Record for the upbeat, stick-in-your-head track "Daylight," played festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, along with international festivals like V (U.K), Pukkelpop (Belgium), Fuji (Japan), Big Day Out (Australia), Primavera (Spain), Oya (Norway), SWU (Brazil), as well as hundreds of shows. They have won 3 MTV awards: a Breakthrough Video Music Award and mtvU Best Video Woodie Award for “Lessons Learned”, as well as a 2011 award for Best Live Band. Lightning is the band's fourth album, following Sidewalks, Grand, and their self-titled debut.

Matt and Kim have always been inspired by Brooklyn’s general urban din as well as the area’s artists, yet Matt points out, “I don’t think a place can define a person. We simply write songs about us and our life so that’s why where we live comes up.”

Indeed, there’s something universal about a song with a beat that grabs you, with a great melody, played by a band that simply loves to play music. And that, in Williamsburg and way beyond, is the key to the universal appeal of Matt and Kim.
Sofi Tukker
Sofi Tukker
New York-based musical duo consisting of
Sophie Hawley-Weld and
Tucker Halpern
Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli
The Brooklyn-based MC earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years.

“I’m a touring artist. I’m an artist that’s internationally known. I’m not just a local artist at this point in my career. I’m cognizant of the fact that what I do is beyond where it started. I’m trying to reach the apex of where I am now, but without turning my back on or dismissing what I’ve done before.”

After nearly 20 years of releasing mesmerizing music, Talib Kweli stands as one of the world’s most talented and most accomplished Hip Hop artists. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of instrumental.

In 2011, Kweli founded Javotti Media, which is self-defined as “a platform for independent thinkers and doers.” Kweli has set out to make Javotti Media (which released his 2011 album, Gutter Rainbows, and is named after his paternal grandmother) into a media powerhouse that releases music, films and books.
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits have their roots deep in ethereal folk music with a post punk-rock edge, their latest album, to be released in the summer of 2018, is even pushing into the realm of pop. Alyssa Duerksen’s potent vocal command with Justin Roeland on drums, Mike Amedeo on bass and Chris Ploss on keys, richly textures and grounds the music; together they create a passionate current between the intimate and expansive that brings the audience into a dreamlike magic.

Alyssa describes Lady D as a voice from her ‘higher self’ who when asked, said her name was 'Diana', "The Shadow Spirits" are her Guides. Her haunting stories are told so authentically, the audience is often coaxed to pause and truly hear the words. Lady D creates a forceful wave when she performs, her vocals are rich, robust and undeniably powerful, this poetry carries a deep message of ‘Divine Feminine’ and her band executes her primal melodies with power and creative precision.
No-Comply
No-Comply
Syndicate of kids forced to move militant.
KNEW
KNEW
Black Feminist Thought + Hip Hop
Venue Information:
Stewart Park
1 James L Gibbs Dr
Ithaca, NY, 14850
http://www.cityofithaca.org/516/Stewart-Park