January Twenty-Fourth, Twenty-Fourteen, Volcano Choir stepped into Vancouver on what was their second last stop on this particular tour. Around 10:30 PM on what started as a gloriously sunny day, Justin Vernon and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees took the stage, causing immediate captivation.
Legends of the Summer is a fitting name. Justin Timberlake, with his boy band turned solo platinum recording artist status, an SNL skit here and there, some golf with Bill Murray, and maybe even a film with Mila Kunis. Then there’s Jay-Z, arguably the biggest Hip Hop mogul, along with being one of the most influential persons in the world, he happens to be a decent business, man. Both of which are fresh off platinum albums, it doesn’t get much better then that. As soon as the two gentlemen stepped on to that stage, this untouchable aura arrived, and infected the building for over two hours.
Some records have themes and concepts, others are built around the radio singles, the aliterate rely on production, but once in awhile, an album is based on the artist growing in life, and the music vicariously lives through those emotions and thoughts.
I’m managed to find my way back home after 5 weeks of galloping around Southeast Asia. In comparison to the more travelled North America (at least in my case), Asia is a new world, in so many ways. The culture shock was of the most genuine kind, as long as you’re willing. You can see the western influences everywhere you go, it’s inevitable, but the goal was to seek out the original, the soul, the heart that pumps blood through the country. I can safely say I saw, ate, and tried a vast amount of new things. Taking a stab at the unknown on multiple levels is an experience all in itself – I highly recommend it, wherever you are. The trip began in Vietnam and ended in Bali, with a Thailand stint in between. A couple 16 hour flights, a 12 hour bus ride, multiple full-day tours, a handful of shorter flights and a whole lot of time spent in airports makes for writing opportunities. Was it a coincidence that numerous review-worthy albums were released during my trip – who knows. Regardless, I strung together three or four solid reviews, all of which were written in previously unvisited environments. The plan is finalize and drop the reviews next week and piece together a monstrous Blues & Beats. But for now, i’ll post a selective batch of photographs from the trip and jot down some highlights – take a peak and feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
Kieran Hebden, also known as Four Tet; the UK-born electronic music genius has released his latest project for free. 0181 is a compilation of his early work between 1997-2001. These are often referred to as ‘B-Sides,’ ‘Rarities,’ or ‘Outtakes,’ I like to think of them as puzzle pieces that never found a home. Each piece of work paints an individual picture as you listen through the 40-minute composition. Not to mention, these pictures are incredibly vivid and distinct.
Released September 25, 2012 via 1st & 15th Records
In today’s Hip-Hop industry, the term “conscious rap” rarely finds it’s way to the top of the charts or trends. Lupe Fiasco, has the innate ability to conquer that. With talks about retirement, battles with his parent record company, and being trashed by fellow Chicago artist Chief Reef, the release of the next album seemed less than imminent. Luckily, overcoming fears and tribulations is one of Fiasco’s strong suits, subsequently giving us Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1.
“Even if I’m injured I’m gonna limp into the end zone”
September 29, 2012 at Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, B.C.
September 12, 2012 at Vogue in Vancouver, B.C.
David Morris, the West Virginia 24-year old goes by the name D-WHY. Residing in and around New York and Los Angeles, the man is making quite the name for himself. And while it sounded clever over Gambino’s “Freaks And Geeks,” it’s the best way to describe this multifaceted artist, “Jay-Z meets J. Christ meets Jay Leno meets J.Crew.”
July 20, 2012 at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, B.C.