YouTube Live: Have you ever heard Caravan Palace?

YouTube Live

Last summer I got hired to work as “security” for the Stern Grove Concert series. I’m not complaining since it was a pretty dope gig. Basically, I had to wander around this gorgeous and wooded venue in San Francisco’s Sunset district and yell at patrons, help set up everything each show, and, of course, listen to the free music. When I received the schedule upon my hiring, I was excited hoping to see some names on there that I had been following for years. Much to my surprise, or due to my closed-mindedness, I knew NONE of the bands (except for They Might Be Giants). Most of the shows were the SF Opera, or Symphony, or the Symphony conducting an opera, but all summer my boss kept insisting one show was going to blow our minds, and get the crowd into a ridiculous dancing frenzy. That band was Caravan Palace.

Formed from both being chosen for soundtracks and prowling MySpace, Caravan Palace’s genre is dubbed “electro-swing”, which is clearly a non-existent, yet very precise genre title. While their songs have that sort of electronic drive within the rhythm, the melody is played on various strings, woodwinds and horns, and NOT synthesizers. This makes shows quite exciting as it’s not just a dude/girl pushing keys; it’s a classical instrument being used in a whole new way. Not to mention the band doesn’t have to stand still, so they usually run around on stage and rock out. Honestly, no band at Stern Grove got the place hopping like Caravan Palace did this summer, and if you have yet to hear them…well, this should encourage you to buy their fantastic debut (which is over two years old).


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