Friday, April 30, 2010

CHECK THE LEVELS: A Day with Trae Tha Truth (PART 1)

MAN! Check the photos below, the Riders Against The Storm just sent me this great Trae video, where they roll with him through Houston. It's a real cool look at the man in his city.

Real talk.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fun Parts of My Past Week

Not that riding on the enemy isn't fun, but I mean, yeah, I do things other than go all "drama queen" on boys. Or girls. or Wimmin. Whoever.

Anyway, in a post below I ask why it's gotta go down so hard on a Friday night in Austin. Well, realistically, that's how it goes down in Austin. So much music, every night, I need to try and catch way more of it.

Here's some pics and a brief report on what I have seen in the past week.

Cuz it really went down.

Firstly last Wednesday I went down ta the Beauty Bar to check out a show presented in part by my family at TheSouthernShift. It was a live band hip-hop explosion featuring...

Queen Deelah who recently moved to Austin from Oakland (I assume recently, not sure) and she RIPPED IT!

All three groups had full bands on this particular night.

And also kept it positive.

Second group of the night was a husband and wife duo called RAS - Riders Against The Storm - who also recently moved to Austin, from I think Rhode Island. Man, they call themselves Hip-Hop Healers and well...

I can't even lie, they really do do the healing thing.

Their show actually reminded me of my yoga class, as I mean, it's kind of hard to explain, but they started out with an intro that would have been a little long, were it not so interesting and engaging.

Kind of like the first breathing exercise in Bikram yoga where you breathe deep, throw your head back, and well, whatever, just try it sometime you'll know what I mean. But they started the show off with this move they encouraged the audience to do. It was designed to shake off all the tension and the stress, and well I don't remember exactly how they worded it, but I highly recommend that you check them out and see how they get down. It's a truly unique and jammin' hip-hop experience.

In fact I almost made her repeat their entire intro into my lil recorder thing so I could transcribe it all for you, cuz you as well as I, need it. But I chickened out. I may have been hizzy.

Headliners Blacklisted Individuals were one MC short, and DaShade Moonbeam had a DaShade Moonbeam shirt on, what's up with that?

Shit was dynamic as always. Blacklisted Individual(s) are one of my favorite hip-hop groups at the moment hands down. Not just in Austin. They jam and have a DYNAMIC live show.

Live band, all that, of course.

It's Austin!

Word to the RIDERS AGAINST THE STORM and ANN DEL LLANO for getting me out on that particular night. I needed some hip-hop healing, and well, $2 drafts.

The next night Orgone played Flamingo Cantina. The crowd was not huge, but I hear it's because TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) had planned to check out a bunch of clubs on that particular block on that particular night and well, word leaked, and I don't think the Flamingo regulars felt like being hassled by the man.

I don't think anyone felt like being hassled by the man, I sure didn't, and didn't, but whatever, had to see Orgone.

What an incredible band of players.

Fanny ain't even trippin'.

They just RIPPED it like they were at a packed Carnegie Hall or some shit, and we all thanked them for it.

Only shit part of the night was my dumb ass walked in just as Tuh-Nie aka Martin from Grimy Styles solo/duo act, stepped off the stage. A pisser as they'd say in Londontown.

THEN! This past weekend was Art City. My wife works with the Art Alliance, so I DJed the kids stage at 10:30 in the morning. First song was "Young Folks" and not even 20 seconds into it and old man artist type with a booth came up complaining. Telling me that the artists had to be able to communicate with the patrons in order to sell their work, and this music... and I cut him off and says to the guy, "But we are talking right now in a normal tone of voice, what's the problem??

He threw his hands up, and walked away. Which was my goal. I then played a bunch of music about robots and bird flu and robot rock and said whatever for the next couple hours as kids painted rocks in my vicinity. Nice way to start the day.

And of course I was rolling with my lil ladies the whole time.

And this lil lady Grace London, a student at the ASPVA, came on after me and actually did a White Stripes cover. That Hotel song everybody loves. And it was so good. Again, what a way to start a weekend!

Later in the day, on the grown up stage, two of my favorite Austin bands played back to back.

Rattletree came out and straight wrecked their marimba styles for what I suspect was quite the unsuspecting crowd. But man, did they rope em in!

All handmade instruments, and steeped in tradition.

They bring quite a show and don't hesitate to educate.

I said it on this blog a couple years ago when I saw them for the first time opening for Extra Golden, if these cats were from New York, they'd be HUGE!

I mean Antibalas huge. Whatever. They are amazing to watch. Eva was way into it.

The solar powered steps of our City Hall.

Amy's Ice Cream break. Another fine things about Austin...

Amy's Ice Cream (Also their chicken sandwiches)

Directly after Rattletree, Grimy Styles hit the stage. Now if you know me, you know THIS MY GROUP!

And man I have not seen them enough in the past year. Confounded work/reality/family/sleep life. Shit. I need to see them more often.

Grimy Styles gives me energy and hope for the universe.

And they made some 2x shirts so I done got one from Erin, right after this pic was snapped.

Wore it three times this week already.


Then on Sunday, the Austin Ballet surprised the crowd with a 3 minute dance, a flash mob of sorts, where close to 100 members of the Austin Ballet broke into dance and just ripped it.

Yes, this is Austin.


Hit the family stage again after the mob thang, and caught some kids from the Austin School of Rock jammin' on down.

I fully endorse this whole concept.

She put that iCarly girl to SHAME!

ANYWAY! If you really know me, you know that what I really like to jam, besides extreme gangsta rap, is some avant garde jazz. Stuff that can't be predicted or defined. And well, two kingpins came together at the Victory Grill last night and I had the privilege of witnessing it all.

Peter Brotzmann and Hamid Drake.

Hanging out behind the Victory Grill having a chat.

So I of course distracted them by taking some photos.

This building is legendary.

I took this photo during the first set. I was sitting in one of the booths and well, you probably can't see what I see in this photo.

Which is fine. This is a shot I took during the break between sets outside. Hamid Drake, man, I used to see him monthly in Chicago if not more. He's one of those dudes that indirectly helped shape my musical palette, just by KILLING IT EVERYTIME. A percussive genius to say the least.

Seen here with Pedro Moreno, who put this, and every crazy ass free jazz show on in Austin in the past however many years, he is a true soldier and thank GOD for him. Also in the pic, Brannen Temple and his wife. Now, Brannen is also an incredible drummer. I saw him like 10 years ago playing with Charles Gayle during SXSW at the Elephant Room. I'll have to tell you that story one day, wow.

Big time writer chick.

I didn't take a lot of photos, and I didn't use my flash as I hate interupting shows like this with photos and flashes.

As it's all coming right there and then from the musicians hearts, minds and souls in total syncopation with the universe and possibly the full moon outside and well, it has nothing to do with me other than I am receiving it and on this particular night, I read it loud and clear in the nether regions of my mindstate, and shit.

Hamid Drakes' hands on that drum...

Making sounds I didn't even know existed. Seen here in the mirror.

Why I take photos the way I do, I have no idea. See you out and about this weekend Austin? NIPSEY HUSSLE! JAMES DEAN! ZEALE! FAT PIMP! What else?