Author Archives: Darek Mazzone, Wo-Pop

KEXP at the OFF Festival: Day 5, Part 2 – Wrap up and thoughts to the future

We wrapped up our location at the porcelain factory, now known as Porcelana Śląska Park, still amazed at the potential of the space and what we accomplished there in so few days. We had one more night at the OFF Festival and were eager to check out some headliners. Patti Smith performing Horses promised toRead more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival: Day 5, Part 1 – Juxtapositions

KEXP @ The OFF Festival: Day 5. Part 1 Tribes have been the dominant social structure for humanity. Tribes evolved into villages, towns, countries. The dominant feeling I’ve been trying to find words for in my first week being back in Poland is that I’m back with my tribe. This makes moving in crowded citiesRead more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival: Day 4, Part 2 – Summer nights at the Festival: FOOD! BEER! Where is the vodka?

After an exhausting day shooting four bands at the Porcelain Factory, we piled into our transport vans our sponsors provided, which were a lifesaver, and hit the hotel to clean the dust off our bodies. It was time to hit the OFF Festival! It was our second night so we all felt a little surerRead more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival: Day 4, Part 1: The Porcelain Factory, and I sound odd

It’s Day 4 with KEXP at the OFF Festival, and I’ve had some tie too think and absorb all this Polishness. Linguistically and culturally my coming back to Poland has been a wonderful revelation. The country has changed dramatically, in many ways going from black & white/2D to vivid color/3D.  That transformation began in 1989Read more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland, Day 3, Part 2

We’ve heard about the Off Festival from many friends. KEXP’s Cheryl Waters and Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop have been advocates for it for many years. But as in all things experiential, you really have to experience it to grasp it. The festival grounds are in a huge park 10 minutes out of the city.Read more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland, Day 3, Part 1

Having some time to sleep a few nights in Poland, I’m remembering more of what my life was like here. It’s not tied to cinematic flashbacks, more akin to indentations in my psyche. I’m a very different person than the one who stayed here in an alternate universe. Poland is a very different place andRead more…

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KEXP at the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland, Day 2

Memory is amazing. For the last 48 hours, I’ve been quite startled by ghosts of my childhood creeping into my consciousness as I start to understand my birth language, and subtly align myself to social cues in Katowice. I’m again reminded how powerful that first coat of paint is on the psyche, and I think aboutRead more…

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Ok! We are in Poland for the Off Festival! Pre-Day Recap and something about myself

Being invited to cover a prestigious Music Festival is always an honor, and when that music festival is in the country of your birth, a country you have not seen since 1990, it is a rare treat indeed. I’ve helmed the World Music Specialty show at KEXP since 1993. In many ways I feel likeRead more…

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Immigrant Songs: Blitz the Ambassador

On this installment of Immigrant Songs, I had the great pleasure of interviewing the Ghanaian-American Hip Hop artist Blitz the Ambassador. Blitz (a.k.a. Samuel Bazawule) represents a modern perspective on the immigrant experience: deeply colored by the internet and mobile technology, and a with a nuanced awareness of the current African scene. In past generations,Read more…

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Immigrant Songs: Chhom Nimol & Dengue Fever

Named after one of the most feared diseases that travelers to the Far East can contract, Dengue Fever is responsible for rekindling interest in a music that was nearly obliterated by one of most maniacal regimes of the 20th century. Based in the vibrant Los Angeles music scene, touring worldwide, and releasing a trove ofRead more…

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