(at Our Music Festival) 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, at Greek Theatre-UC Berkeley. $79.50; omf.io
A decentralized music festival network powered by cryptocurrency sounds like a confusing and intimidating project for anyone to tackle, but Justin Blau, better known by his producer moniker 3LAU, has taken on the potentially revolutionary concept. Our Music Festival (OMF) kicks off with its inaugural event this Saturday, looking to build momentum into becoming an internationally recognized festival brand. Speaking to SF Weekly about OMF, Blau, who studied business during his time at Washington University, predicts at this Saturday’s event, “we should process more real-world blockchain transactions than any other event in history.” Fully acknowledging the difficulty of introducing guests to the concept, Blau explains that “it is always good to give people something they can understand, so something like a music festival is important to lay the groundwork for the future.”
His word can be trusted, as he is not the one to make poor financial decisions. As the producer explains, “I could do what I always loved, which was to make music, once I realized it was financially viable for me at the time.” That decision paid off from more than just an economic standpoint, as 3LAU has grown into a bonafide dance music superstar who consistently packs stadium-sized festival stages while releasing a solid collection of kinetic progressive house. 3LAU’s recent debut full length album Ultraviolet is a cinematic and highly emotional dose of anthemic dance cuts, signifying the producer’s maturation in his songwriting prowess. “It kinda developed over a few year period,” Blau says of Ultraviolet’s gestation. “Toward the middle of last year, I realized the vision made sense in the form of an album.” In the meantime, Blau is focused on “making sure the festival is successful as possible,” adding that “it is going to be awesome, and I am excited for everyone who is coming.” Blau has tagged big names like Zedd, Big Sean, and Matt & Kim to round out the bill for this first-of-its-kind festival, and we should trust that he’s capable of making substantial changes to the festival industry.
Abhi the Nomad
8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Rickshaw Stop. $12; rickshawstop.com
As his moniker implies, Abhi the Nomad has seen a fair share of the world. Born in India but raised in New Delhi, Beijing, and Hong Kong owing to his father’s job, the musician eventually settled in Thousand Oaks, Calif. to attend college. Born Abhi Sridharan Vaidehl, the rapper-singer phenom developed a passion for creating music while constantly shuffling around the world. Taking notes from influences like Blink-182 and Jay-Z, Vaidehl candidly dissects his own feelings of isolation and loneliness. The burgeoning star faced further visa complications while attending college, forcing him to move back to India, but he eventually made his way to Austin to attend community college with his eyes on obtaining an MFA. Despite the setbacks, Vaidehl remained as focused as ever on his music, compiling the material he created during his time moving around the globe into his debut full-length album, Marbles. It’s a dense, breezy 12-track effort that showcases Vaidehl’s natural talent at blending acoustic-driven indie pop with punchy and eclectic hip-hop. Regardless of where Vaidehl’s nomadic life takes him in the future, the talented MC-meets-singer is sure to bring listeners fresh material at every turn.
8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 22, at Fox Theater Oakland. $35; thefoxoakland.com
Now respected as more than a mere offshoot of Odd Future after they first made waves in 2011, The Internet have evolved into a force that has subtly redefined the normal dynamics of a band, simultaneously delivering some of the decade’s most interesting flavors of soul-tinged R&B. The group started off with its core duo — vocalist Sydney Bennett and producer Matthew Martin, better known publicly as Syd and Matthew Martians — coming together after collaborating on Odd Future projects, namely Tyler the Creator’s breakthrough record, Goblin. They soon discovered their chemistry, releasing their debut album Purple Naked Ladies in 2011. That record introduced listeners to The Internet’s keen ability to craft subtle, emotionally captivating R&B that stands apart from the typical pop-driven material that populates the bulk of the genre lately. The Internet’s sophomore album, Feel Good, explored funkier and jazzier soundscapes while expanding their songwriting skills, striking massive commercial and critical success with their Grammy-nominated 2015 album Ego Death, a masterful effort that solidified The Internet as the five-member incarnation we know today. The group has built on Ego Death’s positive energy with the latest album Hive Mind, in which they sound more confident in their delivery than ever before, bravely incorporating influences from all five members that help the record soar to unprecedented creative heights.