Music Festival Don’ts

May 15, 2015 1:23 pm


Leisure Cruise is the musical brain child of Leah Siegel & Dave Hodge.  Both Leah & Dave are accomplished musicians from well known bands such as Firehorse and Broken Social Scene. This duo came together in November of 2012 and have made quite an impact on the Brooklyn music scene.  Seeing this band live for the first time is almost like going on a spiritual journey. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and hearing their back story only makes it more evident:

“Dave Hodge—the veteran Canada-born musician (Broken Social Scene & Bran Van 3000..who has also performed with Macy Gray, Feist, Brazilian Girls, and Basement Jaxx), arranger (Janet Jackson/Neptunes, Carly Simon), and composer (through his company, Finger Music)—was sitting in a café one day when he saw an acquaintance walk by: singer and songwriter Leah Siegel (a fixture on the New York scene known for her solo project Firehorse, and for singing with The Citizens Band). The two had met while recording for a tv spot a few years prior, and hadnʼt seen each other since. Before Hurricane Sandy, Hodge had been creating the score for the soundtrack to the indie film Two Hands to Mouth.” Pleased with the results, he hoped to create a new musical project based on a few of the pieces. Something that day—maybe it was a post Sandy you-only-live-once feeling—prompted him to run out and say hello, and ask Siegel if sheʼd maybe want to try writing some music together sometime.  In April 2013, after a few months of writing, recording, and mixing, Hodge and Siegel decided to create Leisure Cruise. The result is their self-titled debut, full of darkly hypnotic, danceable synth-based anthems”.

It’s hard to not become obsessed with Leisure Cruise after seeing them live. Their debut album is filled with gem after gem. The first song that really got our attention was “The Getaway”.  It’s a song about doing it your own way; and for any musician who has had to give it a go at taking their music career to the next level, it is so easy to relate to the lyrics.  “Don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid, just want to go the right way”. Seeing them perform “Earthquake” live last year at Cameo Gallery was truly one of the best live performances Atypical has ever seen.  The mixture of the lights combined with Leah’s captivating performance was enough to grab everyone in the room and have them asking, “who was that band?” “Livin It Up” is a naughty little gem that’ll make you want to start an all night dance party in your apartment.

This brings us to “Ragged Dawn” which is absolutely our favorite song on the album.  “One more fight before the night ends, there’s glory ahead, so we won’t give in”, Siegel’s voice declares defiantly that Leisure Cruise is here to stay, and we believe her.

Here is a new live video of “Ragged Dawn” captured at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


It’s not often that you can listen to an entire album, coming away with the glorious feeling that you’ve been transported into a magical place you have never been yet also feeling the warmth and embrace of familiarity. This album does just that! It lifts you up into a vibrant, electric. and sensual musical world that is Leisure Cruise, and wraps you in blankets of sonic bliss. The best part is, it never gets old or stale. Like most epic albums, you can listen to this one for the rest of your life and it will always remain fresh.

We caught up with band member Dave Hodge to find out what the band has in store for this summer.  Leisure Cruise will be filming their next video for the track “Crime Tip” with director Michael McQuilken and The Windmill Factory. Plus, actors Jon Morris and Julia Stiles are set to appear in it.  The band will also soon be heading down to producer Timbaland’s Thomas Crown Studio in Virginia Beach to work on new music. They are also teaming up with producer Brian West who has worked with Nelly Furtado in the past. The band will be embarking on an ambitious summer tour of the South East, coming back up in June for the Firefly Festival in Delaware and in August for the Osheaga Festival in Montreal.

If you have not seen Leisure Cruise live or heard their debut album, we implore you to do so now! This is a band we expect to see great things from soon.


The Ultimate Festival Survival Guide
March 15, 2015 3:00 pm

With the snow just starting to melt and spring and summer on the horizon, so comes the season of music festivals. With over 150 national music festivals set to grace the US, we’re preparing ourselves for what can only be a fantastic festival season. As many experienced festivalgoers may tell you, you have to expect the unexpected.

Those realities include inclement weather, safety precautions and the danger of going too hard. While having a great time is the ultimate goal of any festival trip, being prepared can make the difference between festival bliss and festival doom.

Surviving the Elements

Rain or shine, sleet or snow, the show must go on. Some of the most epic festivals on earth have taken place in foul weather—ever heard of Woodstock? It’s as if a collective bond forms between attendees when wet weather adds to the musical euphoria. That being said, maintaining comfort can only make your festival experience that more enjoyable.

Pick the Right Tent

festival 2While sleeping conditions vary depending on which festival you’re attending, you’re most likely going to be sleeping or setting up camp in an area next to a dozen other people. Many people choose to bring camping supplies such as tents, sleeping bags and lawn chairs.

If you don’t have your own gear that you are familiar with and trust, then we recommend you find a waterproof tent and sleeping bags that will keep you warm at night. Even if the forecast doesn’t predict rain, remember that dew can still make your morning wet.

Party Hard, Party Safe

While going over safety precautions may not appeal to most, it can save your life. In 2013, the Electric Daisy Carnival was cancelled after two festivalgoers fatally overdosed on molly (the purest form of ecstasy). Drugs and alcohol have become synonymous with music festivals, and if you choose to engage with them, there are ways to minimize the risk.

Hydrate, Eat and Get Some Sleep

Our biggest advice for all festivals is to stay hydrated. Drugs and alcohol dehydrate your body, and with the hot sun and your sweltering dance moves, your body will be dehydrating at an accelerated pace.

festival 4

To combat dehydration, make sure to consume an abundance of water. Consider investing in a camelback backpack for when out at the stage.

Proper nutrition is also essential to giving you more energy throughout the day. Eating properly portioned, healthy meals will help keep your body from shutting down.

The other element that many people miss out on is SLEEP. While you may not want to miss out on any of the action, exhaustion can keep you from seeing that killer set that you have been waiting to see for months.

Bring Snacks

Having the right tools, food and equipment can really strengthen your camp and make you look like a festival professional. Food and drink can rack up a hefty bill, so it’s in your best interest to bring those munchies yourself. A portable grill comes in handy for hot dogs and burgers. And if you bring meat, make sure to pack a cooler to keep all your supplies cool and fresh.

Don’t Be the One Burnt to a Crisp

festival 3It’s also important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Bring sunscreen and sun gear: hats, sunglasses, fans, the works. We also recommend if at all possible that you bring some type of tent or tarp to provide shade.

Nothing can be more agonizing and uncomfortable than sunburn. Don’t let Mother Nature ruin your experience. If you take the right precautions, all can be overcome.

Have a Plan and Stay Calm

It’s also a good idea to locate the medical tent before venturing out to the stages. This way, if an emergency should arise, you’ll know exactly where to go. Be smart, and if something happens always remain calm.

Finishing Touches

Comfortable chairs and even an air mattress can make a world of difference for seating arrangements around the camp. Blankets both keep you warm and provide a personal touch that screams, “I got festival fever.” Bug repellent is a must if you’re not looking to be a feast for the mosquitoes. Lanterns and flashlights are also a necessity at the campsite.

Expect the Unexpected

Tool kits can come in handy for that unexpected situation that somebody will end up having. A pair of jumper cables is also a clutch if you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere once the festival is over. Yes folks, the right furniture, gizmos and gadgets can put you over the top in becoming the ultimate festivalgoer.


Now that you’ve been equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you can conquer that festival that you’ve been dying to go to. Plan for the weather, take the necessary safety precautions and pack all the right goodies and your festival experience should be divine.

And so begins the 2015 festival season. May it be ever in your favor.