Seeking a fresh jam? Take a moment with one of these three new releases from Indy-based hip-hop/electronic artists.
All of Sirius Blvck's new one, Rite of Passage. He'll perform with John Stamps, Jordnmoody and DJ Knags at Be Here now in Muncie this weekend.
A few tracks from DMA's newest Pheel Phree courtesy of Musical Family Tree. The album's out on Joyful Noise as of this week. He's crawling around the Midwest with Raw McCartney starting this week.
And, straight from Haughville, new work from Riko V. The album features instrumentals from Indy-based producers Wildstyle, Alex Stone, Nova Santino, Blake Allee and Riddles. The album dropped last Thursday - the same day his new baby girl was born. Congrats, Riko.
On Sept. 24, join Asthmatic Kitty's Michael Kaufmann at Indy Reads Books for Land of a Thousand Rappers' MiddleWest Surfacing. This mysterious event will coincide with the release of the LOTR five-volume box set, which also includes an accompanying novella titled Zero Seed.
Using hip-hop as a means of mythical storytelling, LOTR channels a cast of characters and projected archetypes "to transmit tales, myths, jokes, rants, lists, codes, spells and formulas that both pull and propel the listener through something that is much more than a narrative to a fantastic sci-fi soundscape; it is a means to understanding who we are, have been, and can be."
Michael Kaufmann is a "temporal vessel" of sorts for the mythic LOTR cast who will "provide final conduit for time-traveling Aztec, Future Rapper." Although the in-store listening party has been cancelled due to "a malicious strike by Warhol Buck$ (a fictitious villain from the box set), all are still encouraged to attend the reading from 6 -7 p.m.
Each volume of the sprawling box set tells its own imaginative tale, with volume titles that include "Future Rapper and the Battle for Zero," "Warhol Buck$ (Courtesy of First World International-Inc.), and more. Through these adventures, the release sticks to the adage that "hip-hop is time travel - a kaleidoscopic-collage adventure for the ear and the mind via the craft of cutting up, arranging, and layering audio and words.
Songwriting legend Ani DiFranco, who plays Old National Centre this Thursday, was inspired by another songwriting legend Pete Seeger for the title of her new album Which Side Are You On? And the title track - with Ani-added inverted question mark - became known to DiFranco after she was asked to perform at a celebration for Seeger. Well, we'll let her tell the story below - she's much better at it.
DiFranco's new album is evenly split between deeply personal love songs ("Unworry," "Zoo") and strident political ones ("Amendment," "Splinter"). It was released last January.
"I discovered 'Which Side Are You On' because I got the call to play at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday party, which was at Madison Square Garden and had a whole slew of - well, you can imagine everyone who played that night. And everyone who sang that night was everyone in the room, a la Pete. It was a really special gathering, and a benefit for Clearwater, the organization he helped start to clean up the Hudson River and continues to support.
"We were all playing songs that night that Pete had either penned or put out there in the world and put to work. So, I got the job of playing, 'There's a Hole in the Bucket', with Kris Kristofferson, which was very funny scenario. 'Well, fix it, dear Liza,' [she sings, mimicking Kristofferson]. And I played 'Which Side Are You On,' with Bruce Coburn. So I went and looked up Pete's recorded version from 1950s and I researched the song, which was written by Florence Reece for a mining strike. So I endeavored to learn it for that occasion. And I couldn't help but kind of tinker with it. I was practicing it in dressing rooms on tour leading up to that night, and I just had the will to contemporize the lyrics.
"So, by the time I was done, I sort of made it my own. It became a cornerstone of my shows and I decided to record it. So, the first thing I did was call Pete back and say, 'Hey, I'm making a recording of my version of this song. Will you play on it?' And he did. So it all came full circle, and has everything to do with Pete Seeger."
A pleasing announcement arrived in my inbox this morning from John Beeler, announcing the creation of The Music Council, a collection of interesting characters from all realms of the Indy music (and tech) scene. The Council will hold an inaugural meetup in October, and conversations will continue from there. I'll keep you updated on this exciting new development. In the meantime, see Beeler's press release below.
INDIANAPOLIS - A group of music industry veterans are teaming up to advance the music culture and business of central Indiana starting with a conversation featuring local and national musicians. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 3 The Music Council will present the first in a series of events titled "The Green Room" at the Joyful Noise performance space (Murphy Building - 1043 Virginia Ave, Suite 207 / Indianapolis, IN 46220). This event will feature a conversation between Pulitzer Prize Winner Caroline Shaw, composer Ryan Lott of Son Lux, and local musician Kristin Newborn of KO sharing ideas and challenges between musicians, labels, and other industry representatives.
The Music Council formed after a group of local music professionals took part in Indy Music Project, which showcased 46 songs from diverse Indiana artists, exemplifying the rich musical past and present of Indianapolis for our Super Bowl visitors. 18 months later, the group has grown and continues to strive to represent the rich diversity of our current music scene.
"A thriving music scene helps a city attract and retain talent," Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. Michael Huber said. "The Music Council will work across sectors to help create opportunities for artists which, if successful, will improve Indianapolis' position among major cities competing for talent."
The group has defined its mission is to facilitate and foster the growth of music culture in central Indiana, as it relates to improving diversity, economy, livability, and vibrancy.
"We're looking at this as a strategy not another organization," said John Beeler of Asthmatic Kitty Records. "There are already so many organizations in the city doing great work, and we don't want to be redundant. Instead, this is an ad hoc group convened to encourage and spurn more music business in central Indiana."
The first Green Room event is open to the public and will focus on crossing and exploring genres, working with institutions (such as symphony orchestras and film studios). The event also seeks to provide ample opportunity for facilitated question and answer time with the audience.
Caroline Shaw is a composer and musician, and recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize winner for music. Ryan Lott performs and composes under the moniker Son Lux, has contributed to film scores such as Looper, Don Jon, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, andwill be releasing his next full-length via Indianapolis-based Joyful Noise. Kristin Newborn is a local musician currently performing as a member of KO, who has also performed with Slothpop and worked with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
"Indy has such a rich heritage in music and has been the starting place for some of the Nation's best artists," said Mosaic City's Malina Simone Jeffers. "Indy is ripe for something like this and artists have been craving it."
Members of the Music Council organizing committee include the following:
Jeb Banner (SmallBox, Musical Family Tree)
John Beeler (Asthmatic Kitty Records)
Kasey Bradley (SmallBox, Musical Family Tree)
Aman Brar (Apparatus)
Ronald Caltabiano (Jordan College of the Arts, Butler University)
Abby Goldsmith (General Public)
Karl Hofstetter (Joyful Noise Recordings)
Michael Huber (Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce)
Malina Simone Jeffers (Mosaic City)
Craig Lile (MOKB Presents, Do317)
Robert Meitus (Meitus Gelbert Rose LLP)
Doug Morris (Old Soul Entertainment)
Jordan Munson (IUPUI Music and Arts Technology)
Sharon Rickson (Girls Rock Indy)
Sarah Ross (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)
Annie Skinner (A-Squared Industries)
Chris Swanson (Secretly Canadian Records)
[Music] DJs + Dancing
[A+E] Theater + Dance, Jazz + Blues + R&B
[A+E] Festivals + Parties, DJs + Dancing
[Music] Jazz + Blues + R&B