The Eclectic Eight
This list is more on the fusion side. Also more hip/hop & soul this time. Lastly, of course as always there are DMVers on here. By the way, they are listed in no particular order. Just read, listen AND COMMENT! I want to hear what you think!
1.Tommy T – I first came across this artist from a www friend (yes an internet associate if you will). He emailed me information about Tommy and I without realizing it had prior to that already rsvpd via facebook to Tommy’s listening party. You know one of those scenarios where you just skim through invites and think okay this sounds interesting I’ll go check it out. Yea well I’m glad I did get that invite. I’m glad I also got a chance to check out Tommy’s work. He is a local dmver. He is the bass player from group called Gogol Bordello. The Prestor John Sessions is his first solo project and it aims to fuse traditonal ethiopian music with reggae, dub, jazz, funk, and…it works. Quite well actually. It’s the kind of music I can enjoy and so could my parents and really anyone of any age group. Check it out for yourself here.
2. Kafa Beanz – A collaborative group project comprised of Grammy nominated singer, Wayna, hip-hop artists Burntface, B.Sheba, AP and Gabriel Tedros. A good friend of mine had brought this project to my attention well over a year ago and I at the time hadn’t fully started SHADE up to spread the word about what they were cooking up. But everything happens for a reason…because now their project is fully complete, album is done and well SHADE is up and running. What is kafa beanz you ask? Well its actually an ethiopian term for the actual coffee beans. All the artists are ethiopian and with the exception of Gabriel, all are DMV bred artists. The album covers a variety of topics from the politics, love, values, and adversity. Listen to the album for yourself and tell me what you think! Download rough cut of album here (Special thanks to Addis Tunes for the share)
3.Ra the MC – Saw her perform at last year’s CASRAM festival. She was doing her own cover of the “Hey Mickey” song from 80’s…but her’s was “Nickey Song”. I remember seeing her and thinking she was fly, young and had this really playful song. It was definitely refreshing to say the least. There really has been a serious void of female mcs for the past…arguably decade. There was a time when they ruled hip/hop…arguably. Nowadays though it seems there is a new wave of female mcs who are weaving in and out and trying to make their mark. I think its safe to say in near future, Ra is going to be DMV’s top female hip/hop artist….and definitely has potential to make it major. She has a different look and sound. And I have seen her at few open mic events, she definitely can and does hold her own among the men…who, lets be honest, dominate the culture here and surely in other cities…maybe she will be the one who will change that around here. Check out her latest mixtape, Trending Topic here
4. Girl Talk – First came across this dj/artist at NPR .Wow. A mash-up of pop, 80s music, hip/hop old & new. It’s great music if you are at work, at the gym, traveling….or really doing pretty much anything. The man behind Girl Talk is Greg Gillis , a 20-somethinger who produces new songs by mashing up songs that we all know (or don’t know) and voilà creates a new song. He’s come under some heat over the years for not following copyright rules…but whatev, he’s doing great work. I mean, look at that picture above…who doesn’t want to be at that kinda party??! Check out his latest album, Night Ripper
5. The New Pornographers Learned of them from NPR as well. This Canadian pop indie band has been around for over a decade. All play instruments, create and write the music themselves. They got well-known Neko Case as one of the main lead vocals. They are working on an album now due to be released sometime in 2010. Check out their first album, Mass Romantic here
6.Priscilla Renea I first came across this girl about a year ago when I had met up with friend of mine to work on my own music. We both were blown away by her voice, its maturity, and her ability to do any genre of music. She’s like a pop version of Jazzmine Sullivan. And what’s great is that she came from doing youtube videos, where she was often seen playing her guitar whilst singing her own lyrics. She managed to get signed to Capitol and recently released Jukebox. Check it out here
7. The Sounds Is there anything that sucks from Sweden? Great furniture, beautiful people and dope artists. It’s even been reported this year that apparently it is the best place in the world for women to live. I digress. The Sounds is a band that has a female lead singer while the rest of the guys play various instruments. Their sound is definitely in the pop, electronica and new wave genres. And while you’re at it, google search few of their concert images, homegirl clearly gets wiiiiild on stage. It’s great. Check out their latest album Crossing the Rubicon (if you want to cheat and listen to just a few, then try out: Beatbox, The Only Ones, and Home is where your heart is)
8. Alex Malheiros – I first came across Malheiros, a brazilian jazzist, when I was surfing for something new and international on my itunes. I saw the new album he was working on called The Wave. After only two tracks and I was sold. I have a feeling you will too. The kinda music you can listen to at a nice dinner, while on a nice walk, coffeeshoppn, or just lounging around the house. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Hope you enjoyed this edition of THIRD MONDAYS-The Eclectic Eight. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think!