Posts Tagged ‘Afro Classics’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Hit-making machines that inspire nostalgia invade Les Schwab Amphitheater this weekend, with the Steve Miller Band playing Friday night and Barenaked Ladies on Saturday. I didn’t interview either, but instead used Daniel Levitin’s best-selling book “This Is Your Brain On Music” as a basis for a piece on how music affects our memories and emotions. An excerpt:

Both bands evoke immediate and distinct reactions from people, not necessarily because of the way those songs are built — though a catchy melody or well-played guitar lick never hurt anyone — but because, as Levitin describes, our experiences and emotions are closely tied to the music that we hear.

That close tie can be found deep in the brain, where the hippocampus — a structure crucial to memory retrieval — sits right next to the amygdala, which Levitin describes as “the seat of emotions” in mammals. The amygdala is activated by an experience or memory with strong emotional components, and Levitin’s studies show that music activates not only that part, but the nearby hippocampus as well.

Under a relatively new group of theories known as multiple-trace memory models, “each experience we have is preserved in high fidelity in our long-term memory system” and is waiting to be unlocked by groups of neurons configured in a particular way, according to Levitin. Think of those neurons as cues for your memories.

“A song playing comprises a very specific and vivid set of memory cues,” Levitin writes. And then: “The music that you have listened to at various times in your life is cross-coded with the events of those times. That is, the music is linked to events of the time, and those events are linked to the music.”

I was pretty happy with how this turned out, and I really do hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Bend’s own Ritchie Young and Dave Depper will bring their high-flying indie-folk band Loch Lomond to their home town Thursday to play the Tower Theatre as part of the PDXchange Program. I chatted with Young about the band, its beginnings, and its future:

Now, though, that new album is done, and Young hopes to have it out early next year. He calls it “not as folky” as Loch Lomond’s most recent full-length, “Paper The Walls,” but also “definitely not straightforward.”

It is, in Young’s words, “maybe a cross between what we were doing before and early Genesis.”

Whatever it is, the new album will come on the heels of the band’s recent tours supporting Portland mega-indie acts The Decemberists and Blitzen Trapper. Which means more people know about the band, and more people will be paying attention when it’s released.

Not that Young and his mates are going to let that kind of attention or pressure affect the way they do things.

“We don’t think of it that way. We tour a lot, and we try at every show wherever we’re at to play our best and represent the band in the best way possible,” he said. “If we wanted to explode overnight or had that expectation, it would’ve destroyed the band long ago. We really love touring, we really love each other and we just have a blast playing.

“When good things happen, we’re very excited,” Young continued, “but I think it’ll kill a band faster than anything to say, ‘This is our chance. This is the record that’s going to break.’ We’re not the biggest band in the world, but when we go out, people show up and people like the band.”

Please click here to read the whole thing.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: “Southern raconteur” Paul Thorn plays the Summer Sunday show, guitar wizard Ottmar Liebert returns to the Tower, Afro Classics fill the Domino Room with quality hip-hop, Prayers for Atheists mix rap, punk and politics and The Substitutes founder Don Hoxie holds a listening party for his new CD, plus Paula Cole, Halestorm, Blvd Park, and a big weekend at Angeline’s Bakery. And if that doesn’t quench your thirst, check out all the options in The Bulletin’s complete music listing.

Tonight: Afro Classics (with link to download mixtapes)

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

afro

Hi there, folks. Good to see you again.

Sorry about the quiet on the blog over the past few days. I got sick. Really sick. But I’m back! Mostly.

Anyway, I wanted to post this a week ago to give you time to prep for the Afro Classics show tonight at Bendistillery Martini Bar. Alas, I am just now getting around to doing so, but that’s OK; you’ve still got all day to study up. And you should. You don’t want to sleep on this show or be fooled by the small venue. This is one of the best hip-hop acts to come through Bend this year.

Here are your study materials:

-Read my article about Afro Classics, an L.A.-based hip-hop duo comprising MCs Very (of Us Pros) and Scarub (of Living Legends).

-Download the group’s two “Workaholics” mixtapes for free. Click here to grab ‘em both. (If you must choose one, go with “Workaholics 2.”)

-Watch the good-lookin’ video for “Rap Fanatic” right here:

If you like what you hear, you should consider picking up the new album, “Classic Rock,” here. And you should check out the show. Again: Afro Classics, plus Mosley Wotta and Kruse at 9 tonight at Bendistillery Martini Bar in Bend. Cover is $3.

October 9 in GO! Magazine

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Ladies and gents, I have family in town this weekend and am going to try to steer clear of the blog for a few days. Devastating, I know.

Before I disappear, though, I want to let you know what’s happening in Bend, musically, over the next seven days. Be sure to grab a GO! Magazine or visit the calendar on the GO! Web site for lots more options beyond these:

-When L.A. MCs Scarub and Very collaborate, they call themselves Afro Classics. And they’re dope. They have a new album out this week and they’re playing in Bend next week.

-You thought the days of Queen-style pomp-rock were over, didn’t you? Well, meet The Janks.

-Sweatshop Union is a hip-hop collective out of British Columbia, Canada. They are not associated with any sweatshops as far as I know. Now get back to work!

-Local industrial band Warm Gadget and one-man speed-metal wonder Bald Eagle Shirt are gonna get strange at Players Bar & Grill.

-Silver Moon Brewing continues to expand its music offerings, hosting cosmopolitan electro-funk-jazz duo Planet Loop and Bend’s own glitch-hop crew, the Thumbprint Collective. (Download 48 minutes of Thumbprint’s chilled out electronica by clicking right here.)

-Guitar mega-talent Tony Furtado in concert at a beautiful old church in the ghost town of Richmond? Sounds like a highly listenable experience. Just remember to take a sweater.

-Also: Willie Carmichael’s going to folk up Dan Chavers’ Studio, and bluegrass is the name of the game when Blackstrap plays McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

-Don’t forget there are a few music-related movies happening at BendFilm this weekend.

And hey! Look for another blog post in the next little bit about a fundraiser happening Saturday at Parrilla Grill that you should consider checking out.