Live: Catalpa Offers A Little Bit Of Everything To The Soggy Masses At Randall's Island

Snoop Dogg at Catalpa.
PHOTOS: Sunday at Catalpa

Catalpa NYC: Snoop Dogg, Black Keys, Matt & Kim, Matisyahu, A$AP Rocky, Hercules & Love Affair, TV On The Radio, Girl Talk, et al.
Randall's Island
Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29

Better than: Arguing over an iPod's shuffle function.

Music festivals without a historical following or a known brand identity can employ many strategies in their inaugural year, one of which is "Appeal to as many prospective demographics as possible." Catalpa NYC, which debuted this weekend at Randall's Island, decided to combat this problem by throwing together a bunch of popular-ish acts and some quirky attractions—art, fire, a chance to "elope" with a fellow Snoop Dogg fan.

Results were mixed; the lineup succeeded in having a broad appeal, but lacked a coherent musical aesthetic. Many of the non-musical attractions were spoiled by rain on Saturday and, faced with the prospect of surviving on its artists alone, Catalpa became a referendum on its performers' current positions within the musical landscape. Many attendees claimed to like "everything," so Catalpa became a chance to find out what the new "everything" is.

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Interview: Hercules and Love Affair's Andy Butler on His Sidetracked Mix and Hercules' New Record

Kim-Ann Foxman and Andy Butler

You'd never know it from his press photos, but Andy Butler is a big softy. The world knows him as the head and heart of DFA giants Hercules and Love Affair, but he's also recognizable for his penetrating stare and imposing physique--and you'd imagine him to be a curt, monosyllabic beast.

He'd have reason to be less than friendly these days. Butler recently cancelled Hercules and Love Affair's Coachella appearance, and with its members splintering off into separate groups, there are whispers, growing louder by the day, that this band is no more. But Hercules and Love Affair was never really a band in the first place, and Butler is a DJ first and foremost--which brings him to Hammerstein Ballroom this Friday, July 3 for Firecracker with Victor Calderone and Steve Lawler. Reason enough to get him on the phone from San Francisco, where he's recently relocated and happily, effusively spoke with us about writing the new Hercules & Love Affair album, his forthcoming mix CD Sidetracked for super-serious techno label Renaissance Records, and disco edits.

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