There used to be a guy who fancied himself as a “street musician” who would set up across the street from my apartment every night and blare obnoxious guitar riffs through a pocket amp. He had, what seemed like, no more than a rotating 3-song setlist. He mostly just played Jimi Hendrix covers, using the muddled distortion and the fact that he was a black man with a guitar in Seattle to his favor. The drunken frat boys and under-dressed skanks, clopping around like clydesdales ate that shit up. Then again, they only caught about 12 seconds of it as they wandered by in a drunken stupor. Try putting that 12 seconds on repeat for hours. It was a smooth move for the “guitarist” and he marketed himself wisely. Who’s gonna talk shit to this guy around here? Nevermind the fact that the one thing that he produced was obnoxious and that he wasn’t actually Hendrix. This Seattle; that would be sacrilege.
Today I witnessed a video of a man who I actually would have appreciated having perform in my neighborhood. This footage isn’t devoid of gimmicks [he’s a one-man-band playing a Wu-Tang song, for chrissakes] but something about it still holds genuine. It’s actually pretty awesome and, although this particular footage is of the musician performing a cover, he is much more than a one-note. In fact, through my research, I’ve discovered that he’s much more than a street performer, or even a musician, but that’s not important for now. We’ll get back to that more after the video.
Every day there’s some new video that gets swept up and makes its round through the internet. Whether it’s a man, woman, child, some stupid fucking animal, or even a supernatural being, attention is placed on a subject who then tries to milk the fuck out of their notoriety as long as possible. Most of them will never have anything more to offer than that. Never being completely content with simply swiping a video and posting it, we dug a little further to find out more about the man from this video known as “Lewis Floyd Henry One-Man-Band“. I quickly discovered an 8-part documentary about the artist called “The Story of Known“. Well… maybe, the doc is about a 3-piece band or a movement (?). It can get a little confusing but, from what I’ve gathered, KNOWN is both an alias for Henry as well as the name of a musical project that he formed with colleagues Ben Powell & Zac Bake. Henry is a graffiti artist, who tagged the fuck out of London and was famously arrested under the name KNOWN. Always a musician throughout, it seems that, as the trio began to develop and perform together, they adopted the KNOWN moniker as well.
The documentary, Story of Known was filmed by a man by the name of Mason Gaines and can be viewed in it’s entirety through the specially designed myspace page at STORYOFKNOWN.com.
Only having viewed the first 2 parts of the film thus far, I can’t tell you too much more about it. It’s clear that Henry is doing a lot of solo work, at this point, but, whether the musical form of KNOWN is still in tact, I’m not sure. What I can tell you is that, from the live footage of the trio that I have seen, they are definitely worth checking out. They have a fairly broad musical sensibility and, although it’s still awesome, they are much more than the video above may suggest.
If you’re looking to pick up some original solo music by Lewis Henry Flowd, you may be interested in the following news, taken from his official myspace page on June, 29th 2010:
“Lewis Floyd henry debut album out late summer entitled: One man and his 30w pram!“
[Not much more is posted about it; you may have to contact him directly.]