PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

E pluribus, PLUR. Electric Zoo 2017 Embodies Festival Diversity (Photos)

Electric Zoo: The 6th Boro wrapped up with great atmosphere, lots of mud, and colorful characters.


Electric Zoo

City: New York
Venue: Randall's Island
Date: 2017-09-03

Electric Zoo 2017 was by no means perfect. Having attended only the final day of NYC's major EDM fest, I arrived fresh on site to find the fields full of mud. I should have known better given the rain on Saturday, but I managed not to slip, nor get any mud on my camera. And the crew worked hard to get hay on the field to prevent any one else from falling. So that counts as a success.

I caught part of a variety of acts, including Ookay's set which interspersed some rock, the drum and bass heavy set from Sub Focus, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano's energetic set and of course the headliners, Armin van Buuren, and Deadmau5 & Eric Prydz. I still didn't know most of the music, but I did enjoy more of what I heard this year than last. So there's another point for EZoo. (Photos of many of these acts are below.)

One stage/set, however, put me off a bit, and that was elrow's unique Hilltop Arena theme. Supposedly stirring notions of Bollywood production, the little I saw of the stage and some of the dancers and other entertainment that was brought out was in some ways offensive. Maybe it was okay that white folks dazzled the crowd; elrow didn't need to get actual desi people to perform. But they managed to confuse Hindu iconography with Bollywood flair and topped one man with a Ganesha mask. Then there was this costume that was super unclear as to what it would be (a travesty?). Was she aiming to be Bollywood in a fat suit? I didn't get it. There goes a point for EZoo.

The fest managed to move the Hilltop Arena from its old location down the field this year making Randall's Island more compressed. And this worked to the festival's advantage, given there was little to no noise bleed if you were aiming to hear a specific stage/tent. (One more point for EZoo if we think keeping score is necessary.)

The other major let down was not seeing a lot of women or minorities in the lineup (Bollywood stage but no South Asian artists?). The ebb and flow of the EDM scene may have meant few of those kinds of performers were at the top of their game when the festival organizers selected performers. I can't say for sure.

But many bracelets were traded between attendees. So I was happy to see people from all walks of life, like penguins and lions and a dog dressed as a lion, enjoying the music and each other's company. e pluribus, PLUR.

Photo Gallery

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.