Thursday, November 18, 2010

The best $7 show I've ever seen: Black Milk

This past Tuesday I jumped on Jambase to check out if anything was coming to Chicago. To my surprise, I saw that Detroit rapper Black Milk was going to be at Reggies Rock Club premoting his new CD, Album of the Year. Being a former Detroiter, I have a soft spot for Motor City musicians. Especially when it's one of the hottest young Hip-Hop acts on the scene. Black Milk, one of J Dillas proteges, is a producer rapper who happens to turn out some of the smoothest beats around. Milks beats bring in that Motown sound that made Detroit famous, while driving them forward with fast paced hard hitting drums. In Chicago on this cold Tuesday night, Milk brought along some friends to back him in a live band consisting of Drums, Bass, and some incredibly soulful keys. I love Hip-Hop, but even more, I love Hip-Hop with a live band. During the show Milk gave a toast to his friend and mentor J Dilla. The crowd raised their glasses and cheered, and Milk went back to owning the mic. The show wasn't very long, but it was full of energy , it was full of talented musicians, and it was $7. Don't miss this guy while he's in small clubs. Check out the rest of the pics here, and enjoy this video.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hulaween with Cheese in Hampton VA

Last weekend I drove 15 hours out East from Chicago to catch one of my favorite bands The String Cheese Incident preform a two night run at the historic "Mothership" the Hampton Coliseum. Cheese is notorious for their Halloween shows and VA being their closest show I had this year I figured might as well pack up the car fill up the tank and head east. The drive wasn't bad, aside from about $50 each way in tolls and two of the most boring states ever, sorry Indiana and Ohio. I picked up a friend in Indiana and as we traveled a bit south the trees began regaining life, and color and fall was back. We pulled into Hampton around 1:00, took a quick nap and made our way over to the lot to grab a bite to eat, a few beers and enjoy all the madness that comes along with Cheese.

Its amazing to see the amount of different license plates that fill the hotels and lot. It's a true testament to the community and music this band is a part of. People who don't understand it have never been in it. Its an experience that makes you travel across the country, sometimes across the world, just to spend time surrounded by wonderful people and music that simply put makes you happy. The first night was amazing. Solid set, solid playing. The guys all seem to be back on the same wavelength and as I heard it put the next day, they were "DEAD ON." The set list went a little something like this...

Set 1:
Best Feeling > Texas > Daryl, Walls of Time, Yo Se, Got What He Wanted > Black Clouds, Miss Brown's Teahouse > L'il Liza Jane > Miss Brow
n's Teahouse
Set 2:
Song In My Head, Just One Story, Joyful S
ound > EOTO > Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Way That It Goes, Sirens, It Is What It Is > On The Road
Jellyfish > Jump

Another good friend of mine flew in from Vegas for the shows and the next morning we bit the dog that bit us with a couple cold ones at The Pub. Shortly afterword we suited up. Me as Joaquin Phoenix and him as a hillbilly trucker and headed over to the venue for an amazing night of music.

Cheese always practices a handful of covers for Halloween and we were all anxiously awaiting what kind of different songs and surprises the band had in store for us. What should have been obvious became apparent in the second set. "The Mothership" landed, and the band brought it down with a set full of funk, confetti and surprises guests Keller Williams and Liza Oxnard. The show went as follows.

Set 1: Come As You Are, Restless Wind, Rain, Pack it Up, Turn This Around > Breathe > Turn This Around, Rivertrance, Las Vegas
Set 2:
It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)1 > Fly Like An Eagle, Born On The Wrong Planet, Motheship Connection2, Space Cowboy1, Groove Is In The Heart2, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Major Tom (Coming Home)1, Planet Claire1 > Major Tom (Coming Home) > It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Set 3:
Piece Of Mine, Bumpin' Reel, Shine, Drifting > MLT > Drums > Desert Dawn

Search, Howard

With Liza Oxnard
2With Liza and Keller

All in all great weekend. I hear they are throwing a festival on the old Rothbury grounds in MI. "A Rothbury Incident" Its a lot closer to me and even if it wasn't I will be there. Check out the rest of the photos from the weekend HERE.