On October 26 Brother Ali graced Santa Cruz with his presence downtown at The Catalyst. Homeboy Sandman opened, freestylin’ up a storm and bringing some serious energy to the room with his conscious lyrics. Brother Ali in my opinion is a true artist, making his music for the poeple and about the people, not the money. As he took the stage, everyone fell silent. His first words were a message, encouraging people to appreciate life, love who and where they are, and enjoy every second they can. Then the beat dropped and the live band began to play, complete with trombone, trumpet, drummer, guitarist and more. Every time a beat began you could feel the floor tremble as if an earthquake approached. His words served as a sermon to all who attended, telling stories of life, regret, hope and love. This was no show…it was a religious experience. Brother Ali is still on tour for his new album Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color, check out upcoming tour dates at www.rhymesayers.com/brotherali!
Finally, after all these months of waiting, Deftones’ newest record, Koi No Yokan, is dropping on Tuesday, November 13th. It’s one hell of an album, definitely on par with Diamond Eyes and White Pony.
Other new releases include one of the most influential punk rock bands, Fear, with their newest release The Fear Record and a return to form for black metal outfit Anaal Nathrakh with one of their best albums to date, Vanitas.
1 THE SWORD Apocryphon Razor And Tie
2 NO BRAGGING RIGHTS Cycles eOne
3 NEUROSIS Honor Found In Decay Neurot
4 HAARP MACHINE Disclosure Sumerian
5 AXEWOUND Vultures The End
6 BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence Metal Blade
7 TEXAS IN JULY Texas In July Equal Vision
8 ABIOTIC Symbiosis Metal Blade
9 GLAMOUR OF THE KILL Summoning eOne
10 ALL THAT REMAINS A War You Cannot Win Razor and Tie
Chile’s Anita Tijoux is returning to Northern California after playing here at Santa Cruz’s Catalyst a few months ago. Tijoux is a Chilean rapper who grew up in France due to her parents political exile during the dictatorship of Pinochet. She flew back to her father’s homeland of Chile after the return of democracy, where she found herself in the hip-hop scene of Santiago. After some time spent in the band Makiza, who quickly reached the top of Latin American Hip-Hop, she soon broke away and began making solo music that resulted in three full length albums. Her single titled “Shock,” is seen to many as an anthem for the student movement in Chile. The song has in a way become a part of the movement and contains lyrics regarding the Pinochet regime, police repression, and the many inequities within Chile’s education system (see video below).
If you’re heading home to the bay area for the holidays, already happen to be in the area, or are just in the mood to see an amazing musical activist, head on over to La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley to see Anita Tijoux on November 21st at 8pm.
Possessed by Paul James is the project of 36-year-old musician Konrad Wert, banjoist/guitarist/fiddlist whose music blends the down-home lyin’-in-the-grass-while-the-summer-heat-buzzes-around-you-and-you-realize-just-how-big-the-world-is-so-you-decide-it’s-time-to-go-explore-it feel of folk and bluegrass with the fiery passion of punk and blues to make a stunning set of songs collected on 2010′s Feed the Family. Raised in a small Mennonite community of pacifists, Vietnam vets, and various hangers-on, this son-of-a-preacher moves from the powerful bombast of banjos and bellows into mellow tunes straight from an old rocking chair. What doesn’t change is the passion with which he plays. No matter if it’s the profane condemnations of “Color of My Bloody Nose” or the guilty lamentations of “Take Off Your Mask” (which you can hear below), his voice powerfully carries each note into cozy bliss (please ignore the fact that “cozy bliss” sounds like a description for some kind of body butter or something, maybe a snuggie). Below are a couple videos to give you a sense of both sides of his musical personality. Take a listen and see for yourself:
Also I’m just gonna put this here, because it’s rad:
When my friend first introduced me to Death Grips’ Ex-Military it was rough going. I never really took a liking to them. Recently, Death grips released No Love Deep Web. After spending a month with it, the album has begun to grow on me. At first I didn’t like feeling like I was being yelled at by an angry homeless man, but now I find it entertaining. The production on the tracks used to be too noisy for me as well but that soon changed when the 808′s took hold of me. The songs on this album arent as poppy and catch as those on The Money Store but there are still a few gems such as Come up and get me, Lil Boy and Stockton. The rest of the songs are entertaining and there isn’t really a track that i cannot stand.
What could be better than being surrounded by music and the passionate fanatics drawn to it? Other than winning the Lottery, not much. If you’re a record collector or just like people watching, the annual KZSC Ultimate Music Sale should be your destination Saturday November 17th. Dozens of music vendors will be selling everything from rare collectibles to bargain-priced vinyl and CDs. And yes, back by popular demand, The Great 88 will have a separate titanic table with no item over 25 cents. Fun for the whole family and a Santa Cruz tradition in November, the Ultimate Music Sale is…well, the ultimate. FREE admission; FREE parking. Get there early for best selection. The double doors open at 10 AM Saturday, November 17th. Follow the signs and balloons to the Crown/Merrill Cultural Center on the UCSC campus. More info and pictures on our Facebook Page.