Before their collaborative gig with Reed Thomas Lawrence tonight, it feels like there’s enough going on in the Cloaked Characters camp to warrant a comprehensive update. It’s going to be a busy spring and summer for one of Bend’s hardest working acts.
First up is the show tonight, billed as The RTL Project, with special guests Mosley Wotta and DJ Hit n Runn. In a town that plays together very well, this particular project blurs the creative lines between not only hip-hop and pop, but also singer, songwriter, MC and producer. You can read more about it here, and Cloaked Character Jay Tablet was kind enough to provide an RTL MP3, which is kind of cool, because the band doesn’t have a CD available. Exclusive!
Download The RTL Project, “One War”
Now, half of The RTL Project is Cloaked Characters, aka CCZ. It’s been a couple years since CCZ released its first album, “ZonkedOut Tantrum,” and on April 20, the guys (Tablet and Rory Oneders) are back with a new record, “Let Me In,” which is sure to be packed with the crew’s self-described “dark party music.” Translation: Low-key but still party-friendly hip-hop that’s focused more on celebrating the fun things in life than posturing and bravado. Befitting their roots in Tracy, Calif., CCZ’s style is equally influenced by the Bay Area’s bouncy rap scene and the earthy, organic style that rules the Northwest.
CCZ is currently taking pre-orders for “Let Me In,” and the first 150 copies sold come with a free T-shirt. Do your pre-ordering right here. Gun-shy? Fine. Here’s a sample of the album; the first single features vocals by Bend’s own JoAnna Lee:
Download Cloaked Characters, “Go Lovely (feat. JoAnna Lee)”
If you live in Central Oregon and you can’t make it tonight, or you’re intent on seeing Cloaked Characters on their own, you’ve got a month to wait. Starting next week, the group heads out on the “Look Good, Feel Good” tour with their buddies Enzyme Dynamite and DJ True Justice. The tour will loop through California, Nevada, Idaho and Washington before settling back into Oregon and wrapping up with a May 8 show at Bendistillery Martini Bar. Beyond that, plans are up in the air, though you can bet they’ll include making music, taking that music to other towns in other states, and combining hard work and big fun as well as anyone in town.
The RTL Project, Cloaked Characters, Mosley Wotta and DJ Hit n Runn perform tonight at The Summit Saloon & Stage (125 N.W. Oregon Ave., Bend). Showtime is 8 p.m., and cover is $5.