So it’s only about a week away, before Seattle‘s CITY ARTS FEST 2011 swarms in with it’s myriad of performances, exhibits, and events to overtake the better part of the city and it’s various venues (see our preview here). Maybe you’ll go check some stuff out. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ve gone back and forth on the idea, over the last few weeks, but are still undecided. Maybe you’d like to go, but maybe you can’t afford to or… just maybe, it would be financially irresponsible for you to spend money on any sort of leisure activity right now. How about some free tickets? Would you go then? Would you like that? Would that cheer you up pal?
Look, we’re not insensitive to the issues of this fickle economy/job market or by the even more consistent frustrations regularly generated by the man keeping you down. Who hasn’t gotten something stuck in their eye during an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Don’t think that I’ve completely forgotten that episode of The Torkelsons where Dorothy Jane can’t go to the dance because they’re too poor, so her mom gets her that salvation army dress that has the stain on it and covers it up with a bow for her, only to have that pompous bitch call her out in front of everyone for wearing the old dress that she donated. I’m not big on admitting that I have human feelings, but even metamorphic cybernetic organisms from the future crack when you freeze them with liquid nitrogen. Times is tough folks. Stakes is high. Don’t worry, we gotcha like Anthony Edwards with a paintball gun.
The organizers from CITY ARTS FEST have offered us a pair of tickets to 4 different performances. That means that we have 4 different giveaways for you fools to win.
HOW TO ENTER!
We usually post contests that require entrants to write something clever and battle it out. Considering that we have 4 different sets of tickets to giveaway, that’s not gonna happen. This time around, we’re simply gonna use a number generator to pick each of the winners. Next to each one of the individual previews, there will be a link to win a pair of tickets to that corresponding concert. Just follow the link and post something in the comment section. It can be something as simple as “I’d like to win” or “Gimme the gold!” It doesn’t matter. All we ask is that you don’t enter any of the contests more than once and that you don’t enter for any shows that you’re not positive that you will actually be able to attend. Don’t be a dick and take an opportunity from someone that could use them.
Remember to click the Facebook “like” box >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
ALL 4 Contests end at 11:59pm on Monday, Oct. 17th.
The FELICE BROTHERS (Click To Enter)
“Here’s what’s already known about The Felice Brothers: they are a close-knit band of two brothers and three longtime friends, all in their twenties. They are self-taught, not one of them played an instrument prior to the band’s inception in 2006 when they started busking in New York City subway stations. The Felice Brothers have released three full-length albums; their last, Yonder Is The Clock, on Team Love Records (2009). The majority of their work was recorded in a converted chicken coop in upstate New York near their hometown of Palenville. Esquire, Filter, The New York Times, NPR, Spin, Time Out New York, Uncut, and Under The Radar have praised them, among others. They are on virtually constant tour in the States and overseas, and have performed at festivals including Bonnaroo, All Points West, Outside Lands, Langerado, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Recognized for their live show, The Felice Brothers will play for their audience come hell or high water; the foremost example is their transcendent performance at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival, where they soldiered on, unplugged, in the rain, and barefoot in the mud after a lightning bolt shorted their stage’s power supply. Here’s what might come as a surprise about The Felice Brothers: their new and fourth LP Celebration, Florida is an exhilarating amalgamation of frightening horn sections, unexpected 808s, ambient synth lines, schoolyard taunts, booming, primitive drum beats, heavy bass lines, piano, violin, accordion, ringing guitars, rave beats, and sinister acid jazz that captivates and mystifies. Recorded in the gymnasium and theater of Beacon, NY’s old high school, the band explores a multitude of sounds and instrumentation throughout the expansive album. It’s inspired, imaginative, heady, menacing, passionate, and rollicking. Most importantly, it’s as steadfastly authentic as ever, expanding upon the dark, woozy undercurrent of ramshackle barroom blues, vaudevillian atmospherics, and surreal storytelling of their previous albums. Under The Radar wrote in a review of Yonder Is The Clock that The Felice Brothers find “inspiration and freedom rather than constraints in the traditions of folk music.” Celebration, Florida revels in this inventive, outlaw spirit; it’s the sound of a band that knows its roots and knows where it’s growing. It’s a group who just might expand the definition of Americana music along the way. Celebration, Florida casts scenes of dreamy characters and stories interwoven like a block of primetime TV. Among the tales: a young woman who sets off to find a secret paradise; a teenager who enters a boxing gym in Catskill, NY; a late night host recounting his rise to fame to his honeybee while traveling in a private jet; shady degenerates who get lost in a mystery concerning a Honda Civic; a young girl who crimps her hair and spies her dead father driving down the road; a Wall Street scandal hits a little too close to home; and even a trip through space to find long forgotten Hollywood parties and hopefully make it back there in time to walk down the red carpet.”
Blue Sky Black Death + USF (Click to Enter)
Blue Sky Black Death + USF
$10 adv / $12 doshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQEGNiRqwZ8
“Blue Sky Black Death (abbreviated BSBD) is a production duo based in Seattle,Washington. The duo consists of Kingston (full name Kingston Maguire) and Young God (real name Ian Taggart). They are known principally for their hip hop and instrumentalmusic, made with a mix of live instrumentation and sampling. Their name is “a skydiving phrase alluding to beauty and death”.
Kingston and Young God met and began collaborating on music in 2003. Young God, working under the name Rev.Left, began creating beats to rap over, but abandoned rapping and started producing exclusively around 2000. Kingston, working under the name Orphan, began his solo producing career collaborating with rapper Noah23 and thePlague Language collective (to which Young God also contributed production). Kingston produced the entirety of Noah23’s 1999 debut album Cytoplasm Pixel, and the two collaborated closely until 2004’s Jupiter Sajitarius, after which they parted ways. That same year Kingston worked on projects for Virtuoso’s Omnipotent Records. He contributed a number of tracks to Jus Allah’s scheduled Omnipotent debut All Fates Have Changed, but the album was shelved. The tracks “Vengeance” and “Drill Sergeant” were later released on BSBD’s Dirtnap mixtape, and a number of other beats recorded for the album were bootlegged on The Devil’z Rejects album Necronomicon. One Kingston beat (“Supreme (Black God’s Remix)”) was included on the Babygrande Records release of All Fates Have Changed in 2005.”
FENCES + William Elliot Whitmore
“Christopher Mansfield is Fences. Don’t let the brevity of that sentence deceive you; it contains universes.
Fences is not merely the recording alias of the Seattle songwriter. It is the distillation of Mansfield’s entire aesthetic. “I’ve tried to take everything in the world that I love, and turn it into this thing that’s Fences,” says the straightforward 27-year-old. Fences starts with Mansfield’s life experience to date, and ends… well, when he says so. Hopefully not for a long time. Because right now, Fences is just coming into its own, with the release of a stunning debut album, entitled, naturally, Fences.
Fences is the culmination of Mansfield’s songwriting to date, stretching back to the project’s inception in the Boston area circa 2004, and continuing right up to songs written shortly before recording. “Hands,” carried by hypnotic finger picking and a gauzy vocal performance, is among the oldest selections in Mansfield’s catalog, while “From Russia With…” and “Sadie”—a standout that stakes out the treacherous terrain between emo and Americana with quiet confidence—are newly minted. Longtime fans will find polished renditions of concert favorites “The Same Tattoos” and the musical dialogue “My Girl The Horse,” the latter’s haunting refrain “neither one of us will make it down this hill alive” lingering long after the fade. Mansfield jokes that he traffics in “wussy pop music,” and his full-band live performances are more upbeat than novices might anticipate, but as Fences attests, beneath his sing-along hooks and charismatic performances are songs with a steel core.
The ten-song set was co-produced by Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara, who Mansfield credits not only with helping him sculpt the most fully realized expression of his music to date, but also giving him impetus to forge ahead before they’d ever collaborated artistically. “I was just working as a breakfast cook, spending my money at the bar, and playing songs with my friends in my kitchen. It was no big deal. And then when she contacted me, I remember thinking, Whoa! My life might be a little different from now on.” Not to exaggerate the impact of her interest—this isn’t The Blind Side, folks—but encouragement from an established recording artist went a long way towards making Mansfield take his music more seriously.
“Everything that Chris writes, melodically and lyrically, has that rare balance of patience and urgency that I love in honest, haunting pop songs,” says Quin. And she did her homework before arriving at that laudatory conclusion. Prior to recording Fences, Quin requested that Mansfield send her everything he’d written to date. From those forty selections, they winnowed the choices down. “Both of us wanted to capture the most potent Fences, the thing that sums it up as a whole, song-wise—especially since this was a debut.”
Fences summarizes Mansfield’s music in succinct, compelling fashion—no simple feat, considering that his sound doesn’t fit neatly in any single box. He speaks with audible affection of ’80s innovators like the Cure, Kate Bush, and Morrissey, icons who created a consummate, all-encompassing aesthetic, just as he aspires to do with Fences. A close listen to the rhythm tracks on several cuts also underscores Mansfield’s love of down-tempo classic country. An anthology of Johnny Cash’s Sun Records sides was one of his constant soundtracks while working as a dishwasher. “The tempo of that material just has a unrelenting drive,” he reflects. “It carries the lyrics from start to finish before you even realize what has been said.”
Further enriching his sound, Mansfield also has a powerful affinity for jazz, citing John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Wayne Shorter among his favorites. “Sometimes that music is just so chaotic, which is what growing up feels like,” he observes. “I always wondered why more confused teenagers didn’t listen to jazz. The girl you’re in love with doesn’t love you back? Go home and put on Charlie Parker playing ‘Embraceable You.’” Later he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Sometimes Mansfield’s jazz background is reflected in something as simple as augmenting a minor chord with a major seventh, but Berklee also sold him on the value of commitment and discipline. Hence Mansfield’s laser-like focus on achieving his goals. “I appreciate the workmanship, the dedication required to get the art to where it should be.”
Like the aforementioned Morrissey, Mansfield’s involvement in Fences extends well beyond the music, to the accompanying record sleeves, promotional photos, and videos. The cover of his self-released 2008 Ultimate Puke EP may have seemed better suited to a sludge or speed metal band, with it’s well-executed cartoon of a grizzly bear regurgitating a half-digested Fences logo, but Mansfield commissioned that imagery for specific reasons: “That EP was a mix of all these demos and shit on my computer,” literally purged from his hard drive. Plus he wanted a sleeve that eschewed the obvious visual vocabulary a comparable artist might’ve chosen. “You wouldn’t expect that kind of art to accompany this sort of music, you’d expect maybe a cute little bird on the cover.”
On the other hand, for the more thoughtful Fences, he chose a personal talisman, a found photograph (of a young girl covered in Christmas tinsel) he’d long used as a bookmark. “I wanted this album to look slightly mature and beautiful, but you still can’t categorize exactly what that might be. If you just saw that art, you wouldn’t really know what the music sounds like.” But you would definitely be intrigued, and your curiosity would be rewarded. Or watch the video for “Girls With Accents.” Despite a lyric that has been misconstrued out of context, Mansfield navigates a confusing landscape—labyrinthine houseplants, kitchen chairs stacked to the rafters, and the layered look taken to ridiculous extremes—while feeding his dog, putting away the dishes. In the clip’s maelstrom of seeming insanity, he stays centered… just as his music feels rooted on terra firma no matter how unpleasant or odd the circumstances that inspired it, or how noisy the buzz surrounding it continues to grow.
Chris Mansfield is Fences. And Fences is just the first taste of great things to come.”
OZOMATLI (Click to Enter)
$23.50 adv / $27 dos
“In their fifteen years together as a band, celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli have gone from being hometown heroes to being named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.
Ozomatli has always juggled two key identities. They are the voice of their city and they are citizens of the world.
Their music — a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga— has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around L.A.
This has never been truer for Ozo than it is in 2011. More than ever before, the band is both of the world and of L.A.
Originally formed to play at a Los Angeles labor protest over a decade ago, Ozomatli spent some of their early days participating in everything from earthquake prep “hip hop ghetto plays” at inner-city elementary schools to community activist events, protests, and city fundraisers. Ever since, they have been synonymous with their city: their music has been taken up by both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Clippers, they recorded the street-view travelogue “City of Angels” as a new urban anthem, and they were featured as part of the prominent L.A. figures imaging campaign “We Are 4 L.A.” on NBC, and have the distinction of headlining the Hollywood Bowl twice in 2008 and 2010.
In recognition of their efforts towards Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles has officially declared April 23rd, 2010 as “Ozomatli Day”, as well as every following April 23rd, in perpetuity. Ozomatli were also recipients of the 2010 Local Heroes Award by Los Angeles PBS station KCET-TV, recognizing the band’s longstanding accomplishments and community service throughout Southern California.
“This band could not have happened anywhere else but L.A.,” saxophonist and clarinetist Ulises Bella has said. “Man, the tension of it, the multiculturalism of it. L.A. is like, we’re bonded by bridges.”
Ozo is also a product of the city’s grassroots political scene. Proudly born as a multi-racial crew in post-uprising 90s Los Angeles, the band has built a formidable reputation over five full-length studio albums and a relentless touring schedule for taking party rocking so seriously that it becomes new school musical activism.
“Just being who we are and just doing what we’re doing with music at this time is very political,” says bassist Wil-Dog Abers. “The youth see us up there and recognize themselves. So in a playful, party-type of way, I think it’s real easy for this band to get dangerous. We are starting to realize just how big of a voice we actually have as a band and how important it is for us to use it.”
In 2007, the reach and power of that voice went to new global heights. The band had long been a favorite of international audiences-playing everywhere from Japan to North Africa and Australia-and their music had always been internationalist in its scope, seamlessly blending and transforming traditions from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East (what other band could record a song once described as “Arabic jarocho dancehall”?), but that year they entered the global arena in a different way.
They were invited by the U.S. State Department to serve as official Cultural Ambassadors on a series of government-sponsored international tours to Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, tours that linked Ozomatli to a tradition of cultural diplomacy that also includes the esteemed likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong.
In places like Tunisia, India, Jordan, and Nepal, Ozo didn’t just play rousing free public concerts, but offered musical workshops and master classes and visited arts centers, summer camps, youth rehabilitation centers, and even a Palestinian refugee camp. They listened to performances by local musicians and often joined in for impromptu jam sessions with student bands and community musicians. Most shows ended up with kids dancing on stage and their new collaborators sitting in for a tabla solo or a run on the slide guitar.
In the case of Nepal, the band’s trip was part of a celebration of the country’s newly ratified peace accord and they arrived with a direct message: “different instruments but one rhythm, together we can make a prosperous Nepal.” Their concert, which drew over 14,000 people, was a historic one-Ozo were the first Western band to do a concert in Nepal and the event was the country’s first peaceful mass gathering that was not a protest or religious ceremony.
In 2009, Ozomatli traveled to Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand performing free concerts and extending humanitarian outreach, including HIV and AIDS care clinics, visits to schools for theblind and deaf, orphanages, Methadone clinics, and outreach programs to refugees and disadvantaged youth.
In 2010, Ozomatli journeyed to the earthquake zone in Dujiangyan, China – an area still ravaged by the devastating 7.9 temblor of May 12, 2008 – killing at least 68,000 people and injuring countless more. Ozo’s outreach in this area focused on extending the value of music education to children in orphanages, schools for migrant workers families, and schools for the handicapped.
Ozomatli were honored to help celebrate the Boston Pops 125th Anniversary, performing songs from the band’s latest release “Fire Away” as well as Ozo classics from their previous discs, accompanied by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In November, Ozomatli made an appearance at TEDxSF – the first musical talk ever given at any TED conference – mixing discussion and sound to explore the challenges and promises of musical identities in a global age.
Ozomatli ended the 2010 calendar year with a huge Quinceañera Party at Club Nokia in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, celebrating their 15th year together as a band. Upholding Quinceañera tradition, the members of Ozomatli wore celebratory costumes and requested their audience to wear traditional formal attire as well. The evening ended with the band and their fans embracing each other, celebrating Ozomatli’s milestone by participating in the “Quinceañera waltz” together.
Ozomatli has spent 15 years working diligently to spread its message of peace, communication and understanding through music, with a long standing tradition of performing for children all over the world, from the schools of North St. Louis to the orphanages of Southeast Asia. 2011 has the band focused on “oZoKidZ”, a special family friendly set geared towards performing for children and adults alike. The band are currently in the studio with acclaimed producer Tony Berg, recording a children’s album for release in 2011, followed by a book, DVD and tour.”