“IF WE COULD make people smell and taste the show, we would,” says Rafael Pereira, one half of Lima, Peru-based tropical bass duo, Dengue Dengue Dengue!
He’s referring to his and his partner, Felipe Salmon’s, dance parties, where the rhythms and instruments of divergent musical traditions intersect in exciting ways. Cumbia’s joyful, tropical rhythms, the surf rock-informed Peruvian genre—“chicha”—and the wild, click-clack of indigenous Amazonian drumming are all sealed together by the subsonic thud of Western bass music. Continue reading »
It’s doubtful that any of us ’80s babies realized it at the time, but we soaked up a lot more than words like “shoryuken” and meme-worthy phrases, like “all your base are belong to us,” while we sat cross-legged on the floor, frantically tapping our plastic Nintendo and Sega controllers.
It would seem that our tiny, developing brains—hyped up on sugar-laden cereal—were absorbing the soundtracks to our favorite video game titles. And now, fully grown men and women all over the country are picking up guitars, keyboards, drum kits, and, in some cases, Game Boys, to pay homage to these iconic melodies from the Reagan and Bush I years. Continue reading »
L.A.-based producer Daedelus has a reputation as a musical wizard. Known for his genre-hopping, unique brand of electronic music, he is a veteran of the L.A. scene and his work a constantly evolving gem in a sea of monotonous electronica. Kneebody is a jazz-fusion band based out of L.A., which also has become known for its utterly unique approach to music, earning the band a Grammy nomination with Theo Bleckmann and a residency with the New Manhattan Music Project. Continue reading »
When Los Angeles-based R&B trio KING independently released their three-song The Story, the music blogosphere went crazy.
NPR Music called the arrangements of “Supernatural,” the EP’s second track, “celestial.” The collection’s closer, “Hey,” landed on Pitchfork’s perpetually updating “Best New Music” list and Kendrick Lamar sampled the track. Prince proclaimed his love of the group. It was clear that KING were going places—fast. Continue reading »
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is bringing 24 live performances from veteran and emerging jazz acts, as well as student groups. Here is a selection of some of the most interesting musicians playing at this year’s gathering. Continue reading »
Joaquin Pastor is happy to report that he is able to stomach movies these days. It wasn’t always so easy for the singer, guitarist and lead songwriter for SoCal avant-pop trio James Supercave.
“When you spend a lot of time thinking about something from a critical point of view, you just sort of end up ruining the innocent enjoyment one can have when watching something without that critical framework or backstory or anything,” Pastor says, explaining that, for him, studying to be an actor at UCLA completely ruined the moviegoing experience for a time. Continue reading »
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is back with a lineup of classic and cutting-edge jazz performances from some of the world’s best-known performers, as well as some exciting up-and-comers.
Beginning Feb. 28 and running through March 8, Winter Fest will host 25 concerts at a variety of venues around downtown San Jose, including intimate clubs, like Cafe Stritch, and larger spaces, such as the historic Trianon Theatre. Continue reading »
It’s the same story every time. A local artist starts to catch a buzz on the blogs, major labels come sniffing around, and then they make the move—to San Francisco or Oakland or Los Angeles.
It’s hard to hate on the decision. After all, San Jose can be a pretty sleepy place and it certainly doesn’t have any kind of national—let alone international—recognition. Continue reading »
It’s no easy task to be a creator of throwback sounds in this modern era without sounding overly derivative, disingenuous, or worse yet, like a novelty act. But for the last few years, Pasadena-based Dam-Funk (pronounced “Dame-Funk”) has earned underground and critical acclaim doing just that.
Born Damon Riddick, the producer and vocalist has emerged with as sound that may best be described as modern funk—think George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic stripped down with layered synths and an emphasis on drums. He has a penchant for penning love songs with uplifting, anthemic lyrics.
It’s been a slow rise for Riddick, but his career is certainly on the upswing. From basement tapes on vintage gear in 2007 to a 2013 studio album with Snoop Dogg (7 Days of Funk), the gifted multi-instrumentalist has proudly toured the world a few times over. Continue reading »