This young San Diego, California group's easy-listening music with positive Cali-Reggae vibes and inspiring messages has captured music fans' attention all over the West Coast since the band started in 2008. TTR's quick rise in popularity and a must-see show was fueled by sharing the stage with many high profile groups like Rebelution, Iration, Pepper, CollieBuddz, SOJA, Tribal Seeds, Natural Vibrations, Israel Vibrations, Ooklah the Moc, Talib Kwelli, Gorilla Zoe, Zion I, Barrington Levy and Alborosie, to mention a few, in various venues across eleven states of the United States.
Through the Roots has a bright future, following the successful paths that other highly-acclaimed artists have blazed in their growing genre. And like TTR's first CD says, this young Southern California group is "Here To Stay."
Gift of Gab (Tim Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) met at John F. Kennedy High School in 1987 in Sacramento, California and formed the group in early 1992. They released their first recording, "Swan Lake", on Solesides Records. The Solesides Crew consisted of the duo, as well as other friends of theirs they had met at University of California - Davis, including DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. The single was an underground hit, but label trouble prevented the duo from immediately capitalizing on their fame. In late 1997, Solesides became Quannum Projects and in 1999 Blackalicious released the A2G EP, which served as a precursor to their debut full length album, Nia, which was released the following year. This was followed by a major label contract with MCA Records and the release of the critically acclaimed album Blazing Arrow in 2002. In May 2004 Gift of Gab released his first solo album, 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, but he assured fans that Blackalicious was alive and well. A third full length, entitled The Craft, was released on Epitaph Records imprint ANTI- on September 27, 2005.
This duo of genre-bender pride has made a name for itself on the Bay Area scene by successfully mixing spiritualism and hip-hop. Oakland's MC Zumbi and DJ/producer Amp Live blend hip-hop and trip-hop beats with lyrics focused on a message of unity, hope, and spiritual awareness. Although Zion I operates out of Berkeley, the pair originally met in Atlanta, making their music difficult to classify as strictly West Coast hip-hop. Their musical style makes them even harder to define. With a style that borrows from hip-hop, trance, drum'n'bass, and reggae, Zion I's style is equally mystical and mystifying. Zumbi and Amp Live formed Zion I in Oakland, CA in 1996, and produced several self-released cassettes. The duo slowly made inroads while opening for rap royalty like De La Soul, Rakim, and Run-D.M.C.
Church of Hive Presents
HIVE:: Goth-Industrial-Darkwave Dance Party
Star Theater 13 NW 6th, Portland
THE WEIGHT BAND
Members of THE BAND, the LEVON HELM BAND & the RICK DANKO GROUP
Performing songs of The Band, THE WEIGHT BAND is keeping the spirit and the music alive that helped define an era. Members of THE WEIGHT were either actual members in The Band, or are directly and deeply connected to their legacy. The group features Jim Weider from The Band, Brian Mitchell of the Levon Helm Band, Marty Grebb, who wrote for The Band and worked with Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, and Albert Rogers, who shared the stage with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson in The Jim Weider Band. Michael Bram, the newest member of THE WEIGHT, played with Jason Mraz.
Prepare for an unforgettable performance and enjoy timeless hits like "The Weight", "Up On Cripple Creek", "Ophelia", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "Rag Mama Rag" and so many others. Hear the most authentic presentation of The Band's music performed on stage, and see why the Chicago Sun Times proclaimed "THE WEIGHT carries on where THE BAND left off." Come and take a load off.
Jim Weider (VOCALS / GUITAR)
Thirty years ago, Jim replaced Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for The Band. Featured on Jericho, Jubilation, and High On The Hog albums, Jim toured with the group right up until the end and appeared in numerous Band performance videos and documentary segments.
Brian Mitchell (VOCALS / PIANO / B3 / ACCORDION / HARMONICA)
As a member of The Levon Helm Band, Brian played piano, organ and accordion as well as contributing to vocals. He now fills those same roles within THE WEIGHT. Highly regarded within the music industry as the consummate musician, Brian has performed with Bob Dylan, Al Green, BB King and countless others.
Marty Grebb (VOCALS / B3 / PIANO / ACCORDION / SAXOPHONE)
A talented multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Marty's connection to The Band runs deep. He wrote for the Jericho and Jubilation albums and performed on Jubilation, as well as having worked on projects with Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson. Like the other members of THE WEIGHT, Marty has toured with many great artists, including Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Bonnie Raitt, and Etta James, just to name a few.
Albert Rogers (VOCALS / BASS)
Albert plays bass and shares vocal duties as a member of THE WEIGHT. He's shared the stage with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson in The Jim Weider Band, and has also performed with Sid McGinnis, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Vivino, Albert Lee among many others.
Michael Bram (VOCALS / DRUMS)
Soulful singer and multi-instrumentalist, Michael "Leroy" Bram has toured with Jason Mraz and recorded tracks with Bob Margolin of The Last Waltz fame. His connection to The Band comes by way of the extended community who played at Levon Helm Studios in the Chris O'Leary Band, an offshoot of players from Levon's band, The Barnburners.
Church of Hive Presents
HIVE:: Goth-Industrial-Darkwave Dance Party
Star Theater 13 NW 6th, Portland
DJ Taylor Hill
DJ Just Dave
“The Best New Band In America?” – Pop Matters
“They Came, They Saw, They Kicked Our Ass” – Consequence Of Sound
“The band, particularly frontman Ziek McCarter , have got spirit in droves. McCarter's voice recalls Bruno Mars, Prince and Michael Jackson and he moves like an electric eel, taking off his shirt and getting down to do the splits with crowd-pleasing regularity.” – Sydney Morning Herald
The night before Con Brio headed into the studio to record their first full-length album, 23-year-old Ziek McCarter had a dream. In it, the singer received a visit from his father, an Army veteran who died at the hands of East Texas police in 2011. His father delivered an invitation: Come with me to paradise.
McCarter woke up with a song in his bones. “It was one of the most spiritual moments of my life,” he recalls. It was up to him, he knew, to rise above injustice, and to perform in a way that lifted up those around him as well. To make Con Brio’s music a place of serenity, compassion -- even euphoria -- right here on earth.
Paradise, which saw the San Francisco band teaming with legendary producer Mario Caldato Jr. (Beastie Boys, Beck, Seu Jorge), is the result: a declaration of independence you can dance to; an assertion of what can happen when the human spirit is truly free.
Formed in 2013, Con Brio is the offspring of seven musicians with diverse backgrounds but a shared love for the vibrant Bay Area funk and psychedelic-soul sound pioneered by groups like Sly & the Family Stone.
By 2015, when the band self-produced their debut EP, Kiss the Sun, Con Brio had already become a West Coast institution on the strength of their magnetic live show, with McCarter’s swiveling hips, splits and backflips earning him frequent comparisons to a young Michael Jackson or James Brown.
After a busy 2015 spent touring the U.S. and Europe, playing alongside veterans Galactic and Fishbone, and racking up critical acclaim on proving grounds like Austin City Limits -- where PopMatters declared Con Brio “the best new live band in America” -- they headed home to parlay their momentum, chemistry and tight live sound into a full-length record.
In an era when much has been made of the “death of the album,” there’s no question that Paradise, out DATE HERE on LABELS, is a fully-formed journey -- a trip made all the more immersive by Caldato’s raw, live style of production. “We tried to create a narrative in the studio, in the same way that we segue between songs live,” explains McCarter of the record’s arc.
From the first primal wail of Benjamin Andrews’ electric guitar on the title track -- Paradise is bookended by intro and outro versions -- the album tells a story about modern life through its contradictions: “Liftoff” speaks of an urge to fly, to transcend the day-to-day with a starry, bird’s-eye view. “Hard Times” brings us crashing back to earth with the struggles of city life, inequality, and a fractured society desperate for healing. “Money” is a revolution, a rejection of societal pressure to equate success with a paycheck and abandon one’s dreams in the process.
GZA/The Genius is a founding member of the seminal hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. GZA boasted some high-profile appearances on the group's debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), including one of only two solo tracks, "Clan in da Front."
GZA's 1995 solo effort, Liquid Swords, produced entirely by RZA, met with critical and commercial acclaim, and is largely considered one of the best albums to come out of the Wu-Tang camp. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source Magazine's 100 Best Rap Albums of all time. Steve Huey of Allmusic called him "one of the best lyricists of the 1990s," while the editors of About.com ranked him #17 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), making him the highest-ranking Wu-Tang Clan member on the list.
GZA's subsequent solo projects were all received to great critical acclaim: Beneath the Surface (1999);
Legend of the Liquid Sword (2002); Grandmasters (2005) with DJ Muggs (the producer for hip-hop group Cypress Hill) which saw GZA using chess as a metaphor for the rap game; and finally, Pro Tools (2008) featured production from past collaborators RZA, Mathematics, and True Master..
GZA made an appearance with RZA in Jim Jarmusch's film Coffee & Cigarettes, opposite Bill Murray. The two also appeared on the Chappelle Show's in the now legendary skits "Wu Tang Financial" and "Racial Draft."
GZA has been working on a Wu Tang documentary for the better part of the last decade, which will prove to be the ultimate statement about the super group. He also has TV shows and graphic novel ideas in development.
GZA has recently lectured at Harvard, Oxford, USC, MIT, NYU and Cornell. While at MIT he also visited with marine biologists, geneticists, and quantum physicists to seek inspiration for his forthcoming projects.
GZA's next album entitled DARK MATTER will be released on BabyGrande in 2012. The project is a natural extension of his longtime fascination with the cosmos and further inspired by his recent meetings with quantum physicists at MIT and in London. "I will take a quantum leap and discuss the universe while taking us on a journey through deep space. Traveling at lightspeed from the galactic center of one galaxy to the farthest corners of another. I hope my listeners will enjoy this cosmic adventure within a world ofcolossal planets, gas giants, meteorites, comets, and asteroids in the most extreme conditions."
Die Young &
Look Good In Your Grave
A few years ago, while in a tour van somewhere in Idaho, the members of Chastity Belt--Julia Shapiro, Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund, and Annie Truscott--opted to pass the time in a relatively unusual fashion: They collectively paid one another compliments, in great and thoughtful detail. This is what we like best about you, this is why we love you. I think of that image all the time, the four of them opening themselves up like that, by choice. It's hard to imagine other bands doing the same. But beyond their troublesome social media presence--see: the abundance of weapons-grade duck face, the rolling suitcase art--and beyond the moonlit deadpan of say, "IDC," lies, at the very least, an honesty and an intimacy and an emotional brilliance that galvanizes everything they do together. Which is a fancy way of saying: They're funny, but they're also capable of being vulnerable. "Giant Vagina" and "Pussy Weed Beer," two highlights from their aptly titled 2013 debut, No Regerts, were immediately preceded by a sublime yet easily overlooked cut named "Happiness." I saw a younger, still unsettling version of myself all across 2015's Time to Go Home. This June marks the release of I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, their third and finest full-length to date. Recorded live in July of 2016, with producer Matthew Simms (Wire) at Jackpot! in Portland, Oregon (birthplace of some of their favorite Elliott Smith records), it's a dark and uncommonly beautiful set of moody post-punk that finds the Seattle outfit's feelings in full view, unobscured by humor. There is no irony in its title: Before she had Chastity Belt, and the close relationships that she does now, Shapiro considered herself a career loner. That's no small gesture. I can make as much sense of this music as I can my 20s: This is a brave and often exhilarating tangle of mixed feelings and haunting melodies that connects dizzying anguish ("This Time of Night") to shimmering insight ("Different Now") to gauzy ambiguity ("Stuck," written and sung by Grimm). It's a serious record but not a serious departure, defined best, perhaps, by a line that Shapiro shares early on its staggering title track: "I wanna be sincere." When asked, their only request was that what you're reading right now be brief, honest, free of hyperbole, and "v chill." When pressed for more, Truscott said, "Just say that we love each other. Because we do." This is who they are, this is why I love them. --David Bevan, February 2017 "They're funny, and slightly goofy, and gently vulgar, and they play with an appealingly loose, relaxed confidence." - Pitchfork "In between pelvic-thrusting sexual innuendo and self-mockery, Chastity Belt filter feminist theory, cultural commentary and general intellectual bad-assery...Chastity Belt isn't the band 2013 wants--it's the band 2013 needs." - CMJ "The guitars on this record...have a nice ring to them, like Liz Phair's recordings." - NPR
8th Annual Oregon Summer Jam Hosted by Champagne James & Juma Blaq
This year's Oregon Summer Jam will feature performances by Jon Belz , Stevo the Weirdo, Mighty J Phenom , P Hyph , K Slim and many more. Featuring The Pdx Next Up Red Carpet.
...speaking of air and darkness, Born on a Gangster Star came into the world in a big damn hurry, like nightfall on an island. You can see it happening, but then again it's so gradual that the next thing you know--it's dark.
Imbued with the energy and ideas from all the creative embers floating in the atmosphere like fireflies, Shabazz Palaces recorded this entire album over the course of two weeks with Blood in Seattle. New gear and new equipment disintegrated comfort zones into dust and a new path appeared in the ashes.
Herein the Palaceer continues the tale of Quazars, a sentient being from somewhere else, an observer sent here to Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary. What he finds in our world is a cutthroat place, a landscape where someone like him could never quite feel comfortable amidst all the brutality and alternative facts and death masquerading as connectivity.
Inspired by days on end spent in the waves--water and light, both--of Southern California, the work came to the Palaceer in a flash, like being picked up by something and carried. Always dribbling with his head up, he can see what's going on around him and react to it, rather than starting in a certain direction and hoping to achieve something upon arrival.
What's good?--the kids ask. What does it even mean, and what does it even matter? Who is behind these choices? We are all of us sitting under a waterfall of all. this. shit. but it's the excess that is casting us into ruts.
The Palaceer stays away from the fleeting and the superficial nonessential. Stay away from your device--your phantom limb--and stay away from your image--your phantom self; that is his decree. Considering the motions behind the things you like to consume artistically, rather than just the way something looks or sounds, and thinking in layers, and trying to be more considerate and not so self-oriented--this is his medicine for combat.
Born on a Gangster Star flirts with a pop sensibility, but through the prism of Shabazz Palaces's fire and fury. For the Palaceer, that sense is all about how the groove is moving, and the supernatural telepathy that occurs amongst his cohort. Appearing here, in body or in spirit, are Julian Casablancas, Thundercat, Darrius Willrich, Gamble and Huff, Loud Eyes Lou, Thaddillac, Ahmir, Jon Kirby, Sunny Levine, and Blood. The story belongs to Quazarz, but the air and darkness belong to us.
And so we shine a light on the fake.
"An anarchist streak still runs through me," says Lady Rizo, the singer-sophisticate who was once a teenage punk rocker. "I love the idea of claiming something that's uncool and making it authentic." To that end, the NYC-based artist has earned a name for herself by transforming nightclub-pop into experiences that are more soulful, more theatrical. A provocateur with an electric wit, Lady Rizo is a vessel for the spirits of Edith Piaf and Freddie Mercury.
The New York Times once referred to Lady Rizo (né Amelia Zirin-Brown) as "a formidable belter who can sustain phrases and notes even when sprawled on her back on a piano and scissoring her legs." They're not alone in that enthusiasm. Lady Rizo--who is releasing Indigo, her second album, on August 18--has collaborated with Moby, Reggie Watts, and Yo-Yo Ma, the latter on his Songs of Joy & Peace album, which won a Grammy Award.
She's received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, a Time Out London theater award, and a 2013 London Cabaret Award. She also co-composed music for Adam Rapp's Los Angeles, as well as theme songs for the Fuse network and E! Entertainment. All of which is to say: Our Lady of Perpetual Creativity is, by design, many things to many people.
Taking a cue from Piaf, Lady Rizo fully embraces the role of chanteuse. In recordings, she is a mysterious figure, a siren ushering you through tableaus of heartbreak, lust, and the murkiness in between. Live, she is an eyeful. "Freddie Mercury embodied songs with his voice and body," she says, admiringly. Like the Queen singer, she too can make even the simplest sentiment feel voluminous.