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Friday, December 10, 2010

Millionyoung and Teen Daze Entrance the Rickshaw Stop

Posted By on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM

click to enlarge Millionyoung last night at Rickshaw Stop. Pics by Adrian.
  • Millionyoung last night at Rickshaw Stop. Pics by Adrian.
Millionyoung

Teen Daze

December 9, 2010
@ Rickshaw Stop

Better than: Cranking up your space heater on a cold winter night.

In just under two years, the nascent musical sub-genre known as chillwave has gone from buzzed about, to backlashed against, to its current status, something of a critical/commercial purgatory. Known for it's mid-tempo mix of sampled drums, warm synths, and angsty, processed vocals, more and more artists in the sub-genre are taking their act on the road.

Hailing from opposite ends of the continent, Florida's Millionyoung and Vancouver's Teen Daze both popped up on the scene this year as part of chillwave's second generation of artists. Now, on tour together, these two -- whether they know it or not -- are a good benchmark to see if chillwave can transition from a fleeting internet buzz moment to something with legs. And on this quiet December night at the Rickshaw Stop, they proved chillwave still has something to offer.

click to enlarge Teen Daze
  • Teen Daze
Teen Daze took to the stage first, armed with little more than a laptop, mini-synth, and a microphone. Within a couple of songs, his four-on-the-floor beats and overdubbed vocals got a comatose Rickshaw crowd nodding their heads and swaying from side to side gently. As his set went on, and he got into tracks such as "Around," the crowd loosened up even more, and the show started to feel like a party in anticipation for Millionyoung.

After a half-hour pause for setup and such, Millionyoung took to the stage, playing through an effects-drenched opening track on his own, before a three piece backing band joined him on stage. Even with a drummer, bassist and guitarist, Millionyoung was a one man wrecking crew, not only holding down the keyboard, vocals and effects, but also finding time to bang out a few guitar solos.


click to enlarge Millionyoung
  • Millionyoung
And it could be because his songs are a bit less dance-oriented, or because the rhythms are a little more complex, but the crowd took it down a notch from the earlier party-verge atmosphere, seemingly entranced by the music coming from the stage.

That's not to say they weren't into it, however. By the time Millionyoung's brisk 40-minute set came to a close, he was summoned back out for an encore performance, where he was joined on stage by Teen Daze, and they closed out the night in collaborative bliss.


click to enlarge Teen Daze and Millionyoung
  • Teen Daze and Millionyoung
Critic's Notebook

Under the covers: Both Teen Daze and Millionyoung launched into covers/edits during their set that caught me a bit off-guard. Teen Daze had a thumping edit of Earth, Wind and Fire's "Let's Groove," while Millionyoung sneakily slipped into a cover of the Gorillaz' "Clint Eastwood."

Echoes, echoes, echoes: It's no secret that heavily processed vocals are a staple of chillwave. And because of that, there were multiple moments throughout the night where both artists would attempt to speak to the crowd, only to be rendered indecipherable by layers of reverb and fuzz. Jokes from the crowd followed.

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Adrian Covert

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