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Musiq Soulchild
Saturday 10/24
Musiq Soulchild @ The Howard Theatre
$37.50 / $45
Philadelphia native Taalib Johnson a.k.a Musiq Soulchild, is a soul artist whose unique style blends R&B, Soul, Funk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Hip Hop, creating a sound unlike any other. “I consider myself a soul artist because it encompasses all genres of music!" Musiq states “I like to make music that means something to people, nowadays there are so many categories and labels, I just wanna make music that matters!” Musiq is the eldest of nine children “I always saw myself as the black sheep of the family; I was always doing my own thing!” At a young age Musiq decided he would not continue his high school education, this proved to make his road to success much more difficult "I really wish I stayed, cause even though I didn't like it that much I still could've taken advantage of the many resources that being in school has to offer!” When Musiq was 17 he left home to live life on his own terms, finding himself having to depend on the kindness of friends, and sometimes strangers, as he struggled with everyday survival "Man, I did what I had to, I slept on couches, the bus, the train, the park, whatever, it didn't matter, I just knew things wasn't gonna be that way forever!” It was during that time Musiq started to build a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC's, free styling on the open mic circuit, scatting at a jazz club, or just performing a cappella in the streets of Philadelphia, which is where he got the name " Musiq " and later he added " Soulchild " which is intended to respect and represent the legacy and traditions of past great soul stars. Musiq was introduced to the world in 2000 with his platinum debut album, Aijuswanaseing (I Just Want to Sing), which included the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop single, “Just Friends”. Musiq’s second single, “Love”, spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and has been described by many as a classic. Musiq’s 2002 album, Juslisen (Just Listen), debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Charts and quickly went platinum with hit singles, such as “Halfcrazy” and “Dontchange”. By the drop of his third album, Soulstar, in 2003, Musiq had established himself as one of the top R&B/Soul artists of his time. Soulstar included the hot singles “Forthenight” and “Whoknows”. A fter a four year break and changes in Managementto: Solqi Management and record label to: Atlantic records, Musiq knew that, in order for his success to continue, his sound would have to reflect his personal growth and journey. In 2007 Luvanmusiq (Love and Music) was released and included the hit singles “B.U.D.D.Y.”, “Teach Me”, and “Make you Happy”. Musiq Soulchild has had 2 platinum albums, 2 gold albums and 7 hit singles. He has received awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI, and Soul Train. Musiq has also earned award nominations from MTV, American Music Awards, NAACP, and 9 Grammy nominations, including 3 for his 2007 album Luvanmusiq. Besides being a successful recording artist, Musiq is notable for his creative and unique way of titling his albums and songs. In addition to being a platinum selling artist, Musiq has garnered TV and print ads from Mc Donald’s, GAP, Coca Cola, Levi Strauss, and Nike. All of this talent, hard work, and determination have allowed Musiq to flourish into one of the few R&B soulful artists that still exist.
Kyle Dunnigan
Wednesday 10/07
Kyle Dunnigan @ The Howard Theatre
$20 / $25
“One of the most innovative, clever and hysterical acts ever unleashed at the fest” said the Montreal Gazette of Kyle’s performance on a prestigious gala set at the 2013 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Most recently Kyle was hired to write and perform on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer for both seasons 1 and 2. In addition to this, Kyle has an animated pilot set-up at Nickelodeon, where he is set as the creator, Executive Producer and voice of the title character. Kyle’s original character “Craig” has garnered over 8 millions views on his YouTube channel, which currently has 27,000 subscribers. Kyle continues to build a following in the digital space with his weekly podcast, Professor Blastoff, which he co-hosts with Tig Notaro. In 2013 the podcast was all over the top ten iTunes Comedy Podcast Charts, and peaked at #1 numerous times. Furthermore, Kyle has been invited to perform at the most prestigious comedy and music festivals in 2013 such as Montreal and Chicago Just for Laughs, Bumbershoot, Bonnaroo, Vancouver, San Francisco Sketchfest, Fun Fun Fun Fest and Sasquatch is on the books for 2014. Kyle also released a comedy and music Christmas album last year, which heavily featured this original character “Craig” along with a host of other original characters and celebrity impressions. The album peaked at #6 on the iTunes comedy album charts. Kyle has been featured by prominent media outlets such as The Onion AV Club, Marvel Comics, Paste Magazine, Thought Catalogue, Social Times, Crave Online, New Media Rockstars, Laughspin and The Comics Comic. In previous years Kyle was cast in the pilot Garfunkel and Oates for HBO GO and recurred on Reno 911. As a stand-up comic Kyle has had his own half hour special on Comedy Central along with numerous late night performances (Conan, Kimmel, Leno).
Lizz Wright - CD Release Show
Friday 09/11
Lizz Wright - CD Release Show @ The Howard Theatre
$39.50 / $45
Lizz Wright – Vocals Michael Aarons – Guitar Bobby Sparks – Keys Nicholas D’Amato – Bass Brannen Temple – Drums Something amazing and terrifying happened to me as I entered into my 30s. I realized that I had run far off the course of my scripted plans, my projections for who I'd be, what I'd be doing, and how it would feel at this point. Then, the realization the mapped trail couldn't be recovered. A hound without a hunt, I was captured by unfamiliar woods far from earshot of the original game and players. Untethered by marriage with a scrap pile of maternal designs that never took root, I found myself forced, thank goodness, to let go. The pageantry of over-identifying with past experiences and old ideals had ended. In review, I found that life's unfolding had exceeded my most elaborate visions while other hopes had slipped into ruin in the clasp of my determined hands. Meanwhile, a new meekness and curiosity made all of my experiences sacred and overwhelming, something akin to a reverent depression. Desire was quieted in my heart, and I was uneasy in the cool of my newness, wondering what I really wanted to do next. When the label suggested that I consider working with Larry Klein, my entire focus shifted with a warm shrug, "Why not? He's produced some of my favorite records." Within a few conversations I had found plenty of reasons to trust the voice on the other end of the line. I knew that I was respected for my potential and achievements, and he wasn't new to dealing with strong women. Another shrug, "Why not?" I had plenty to sing about now, a heart cracked open by disappointment, a will broken by the truth. I was ready for a new project, the kind of baby that I knew how to make. It was suggested to me initially that I make a record of covers. It was the very moment my hard head became bent on writing my way out of my valley, no matter how hard or long I'd have to work for it. I'd count my steps and tell stories until I met the ridge line without borrowing anyone else's view. This was not my hour to cover, but to uncover, and hopefully, the reveal would be worth something. I trembled in the wait for my own revelation. I scurried around the country (Nashville, New York and LA) to have collaborative conversations with old and new friends. I remembered how to just sit with people and talk, even though I was on a schedule and budget. We all spoke like we were on Grandma's porch, but the work got done. To my delighted surprise, much of this record was written with Larry himself. My average day of pre-production with him looked like: A sunrise run and swim at Santa Monica pier, showing up to his studio sandy, salty, and red faced, talking through beautiful rambles with him and David Batteau while high on espresso. Then we'd get snagged by a soulful riff from Larry's acoustic bass guitar as he noodled along (seemingly) aimlessly. Often a story would present a hook and we'd return the next day with responses. This felt like an old and dignified pace of work, but also kind of risky. However, I looked up after a few months of these weeklong neighborly sits and real songs were following us, a train getting longer, each car intact and connected as we rolled on. In the evenings I listened to demos of the budding songs on my phone as the sun set over the Pacific. I could see them, unmade movies. The tide of communion would pull back and the shining pieces left could be made into anything. This is when I knew that I had, in these mosaic sessions, stumbled upon a new page of my life. I remembered the feeling of being found. One of the most moving songs from it's inception was, "Somewhere Down the Mystic." Playing on the simple wonders of my rustic Appalachian life, we imagined a love lost to death and the feeling of it's lasting warmth, a nod to love's reach across life's threshold. Months later, on February 20th, I had a near death experience, sliding across 300 yards of ice- coated mountain curve. I softened my body and rested my hands in my lap. The heavy car floated silently towards a 75 foot ravine that ended with a wide band of frozen creek. "Ok" was the only thing I could get out in a sigh. I was stopped by a young bellwood tree that grew out of the bank like a hook. I slowed my breathing and meditated in suspension. About 20 minutes later, a young neighbor pulled the door open, reaching in with a strong arm to guide my climb out. Now when I sing the chorus, I see the gracious hole and the sweet sapling that grows over it. It threw me back, a fish returned to the river with a cut lip. The pink bells of the tree can be seen on my homepage, and I want to keep such simple things close from now on. Why not? They were strong enough to save me. In surrender I experience freedom. The gift of an end is a beginning. I greet the sun with the only reason I've ever needed, "why not?"
Los Lobos
Sunday 09/06
Los Lobos @ The Hamilton Live
Free
Tickets: $48.00 - $55.00 Louie Perez- Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals Steve Berlin- Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica Cesar Rosas- Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin Conrad Lozano- Bass, Guitarron, Vocals David Hidalgo- Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984. Although the album’s name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band—David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin—saw parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots. Perez, the band’s drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music “the soundtrack of the barrio.” Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single (“La Bamba”) and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. The band chronicles a key moment of their expansive journey on Disconnected In New York City, a dynamic live album that marks the band’s 40th anniversary and launches their new association with 429 Records. Recorded over two nights in December 2012 at The City Winery in NYC, the engaging 12-song set celebrates Los Lobos’ great legacy as a freewheeling and unpredictable live band, which most recently includes touring in Europe with Neil Young and Crazy Horse in June 2013. Disconnected in New York City features fresh interpretations of songs from throughout their three decade recording career, including their first ever live recording of “La Bamba,” their worldwide pop crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart and whose video won a 1988 MTV Music Video Award. The collection covers the band’s 25 year studio discography, from “Gotta Let You Know” (a bouncy zydeco rocker driven by Hidalgo’s accordion from How Will The Wolf Survive?) through “Tin Can Trust,” a bluesy rock ballad that was the title cut from their last studio release in 2010. By design, Disconnected in New York City has songs that have been longtime staples of Los Lobos’ tours mixed with other gems that had somehow fallen by the wayside over the years. The mix includes the mid-tempo shuffling rocker title track from The Neighborhood (1990); the easy flowing and whimsical (thanks to Berlin’s jazzy sax solo) “Oh Yeah” (from This Time, 1999); the spirited, traditional flavored, Rosas penned Spanish language “Chuco’s Cumbia” (from The Town and the City, 2006); the graceful and spiritual “Tears of God” (from By The Light of the Moon, 1987); “La Venganza de Los Pelados,” a fiery burst of Latin rock fusion with mariachi textures (from The Ride, 2004); the soulful, simmering blues of “Little Things” (from The Town and The City, 2006); the Latin blues funk classic “Set Me Free Rosa Lee” (from By The Light of the Moon); and two mid tempo funk pop/rock tunes from 2002’s Good Morning Aztlan, “Maria Christina” and “Malaque.” As per the literal meaning of its title, Disconnected In New York City sets itself apart from Los Lobos’ other acclaimed live recordings (most notably, 2005’s Live At the Fillmore) by stripping down the instrumentation for a mostly acoustic affair. Lozano, who drives the grooves with his bass and also plays the deep-bodied Mexican 6-string acoustic bass called the guitarron, says, “It’s funny because when the venue hired us, they specifically requested that we do something acoustic to fit its smaller dinner house vibe. The idea popped into our heads to ask them if we could record it and they were cool with that. “We’re well known for our electric, high energy performances but we’ve done acoustic stuff for certain smaller auditorium tours,” he says. “Playing these songs acoustically makes them feel more intimate. We notice that when you play softer and quieter, the audience tends to pay attention to everything we’re doing. When you play rock, they’re thinking more about rhythm than melodies and lyrics, but playing them this way allows for more subtle elements of the songs to stand out.” Perez laughs when he calls the Los Lobos Unplugged experience “folk music for the hearing impaired - it’s still loud because the acoustic instruments are amplified! The idea of making a record like this came from never having the opportunity to work some of our favorite songs from over the years into our usual sets. Because most tours are done in support of new albums, the fresh material we play means that some favorite older tunes fall away over time. When we thought about making another live album and what would make it different, the logical concept was to revisit songs we haven’t played in a while but had been requested by a lot of fans. We had already documented our rock show with Fillmore, so we felt kind of liberated to take another approach with this one. “There are two challenges releasing a live album, though,” Perez continues. “One is choosing certain songs over other ones. It’s like having kids. We love Tommy as much as Johnny but one day Johnny gets to go the park today and Johnny stays home. In spite of this, we do cover a lot of ground. The biggest problem is the way people sometimes perceive live albums, like they’re an afterthought put out to fill some kind of gap. Bands love doing them but fans don’t always pay attention. But historically, it can be a license for great creativity. Jimi Hendrix did Band of Gypsies to fulfill his last recording commitment, but it was one of the most incredible recordings he ever made. Because Disconnected in New York City marks a key anniversary and the start of us working with a new label, we put a lot of thought into the project, from its design and structure and how we performed the songs.” Steve Berlin is Los Lobos’ saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Though he wasn’t jamming with the others way back in the “Krypton days” (as Perez calls it) in the barrio garage, Berlin felt it was important to find a special way to mark his cohorts’ 40th year--just as they had done on their 30th by inviting special guests (Dave Alvin, Bobby Womack, Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples) to be part of their 2004 date The Ride. “Trying to figure out a way to acknowledge 40 years as a band is harder than you might think,” he says. “We got to play with all of our heroes on our 30th so what was something we had not done? So, like Louie said, we thought the best thing was to bring back songs we rarely if ever play and put them into a fresh context. We wanted to create something of value for our fans that would reflect the mutual appreciation we share with them – starting, of course, with ‘La Bamba,’ which we had never documented live before. I think it was important also that once we knew the set lists for the shows that we would eventually choose the final tracking from, we didn’t over-think the arrangements. We only rehearsed these shows for a single day. The coolest part of how Disconnected worked out is that we hadn’t been doing some of these songs long enough to worry about how to pull them off. And because we performed them acoustically, we couldn’t just blast everyone with power and skate through them. We had to be present and make the choices that occurred to us in each moment.” Around the time of their last big anniversary Rolling Stone magazine summed up that distinctive, diverse and spontaneous Los Lobos aesthetic perfectly: “This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them.” Most fans know that the group came together from three separate units. Hidalgo, the band’s lead vocalist/guitarist (whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo) met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who plays guitar and mandolin, had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. “But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things,” says Perez. “Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut.” Looking back at the historical and cultural sweep of the band, Lozano sees the release of Disconnected In New York City as Los Lobos coming full circle. “A lot of people forget that though we were rock musicians when we got out of high school, the band started off as an acoustic outfit,” he says. “We wanted to play Mexican folk music because those were our roots and there was this whole Chicano awareness thing happening back in the early 70s. We started to pay attention to our traditions and culture, and focused on those styles of music for years. We studied music from every region of Mexico, learned how to play all these authentic instruments. So that’s what we did for ten years until we decided to play rock again by bringing in drum and electric bass. “We were playing this restaurant gig for two years, and some small local clubs, playing the same songs, when people in the crowd started shouting out, ‘Do you know any Beatles or Grateful Dead tunes?’” Lozano adds. “Soon we got fired from the restaurant and headed back to the garage to write our first original songs that were rock with some accordion on them: ‘Let’s Say Goodnight’ and ‘How Much Can I Do?’ We made a little tape and gave it to the guys in The Blasters, which included Steve Berlin, when we went to see them live on Sunset Strip. They loved our tunes and invited us to open their show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, which was the first time Los Lobos performed on the other side of the Los Angeles River. We played some originals and old favorites by Hendrix, Cream, The Yardbirds and Beatles – all the stuff we loved as kids. The icing on the cake is that the audience loved it, too.”