In a hip-hop career that has stretched past a decade, Blackalicious has earned respect the old-fashioned way–rising through honesty, commitment, and artistry. Blackalicious is an American hip hop duo from Sacramento, California made up of rapper Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley). They are noted for Gift of Gab's often "tongue-twisting", multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel's "classic" beats.
Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the "positive tip"; in other words, its lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynous. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group's music. Although Blackalicious wasn't formed until the early '90s, its members had known each other since the late '80s. Founding members Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) first met in Sacramento, CA, in 1987 when they were students at John F. Kennedy High School. Neither of them was originally from Sacramento; DJ/producer Xcel (who was going by DJ IceSki at the time) was a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, while rapper Gift of Gab was from Los Angeles' suburban San Fernando Valley.
The two went their separate ways after Gift of Gab (also known as Gabby T) graduated from Kennedy High in 1989, but they were reunited in Davis, CA, in 1992. By that time, Xcel had become a student at the University of California at Davis and the Gift of Gabhad moved to Davis to form Blackalicious with him. UC Davis was where Xcel had started working with a hip-hop crew named SoleSides, whose members included DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Lyrics Born. SoleSides Records was the name of the SoleSides Crew's Northern California record company and in 1994, that label released Blackalicious' debut single "Swan Lake." Although not a triple-platinum smash, the single was a small underground hit that fared well among alternative rap audiences. The following year, SoleSides Records released a Blackalicious EP titled Melodica. By late 1997, SoleSides Records had transformed into Quannum Records, and in 1999, Quannum put out another Blackalicious EP, A2G.
In 2000, Quannum released the group's full-length debut Nia (whose title is the Swahili word for purpose). After being together eight years, Blackalicious finally signed with a major label when, in late 2000, the Californians were added by MCA. In April 2002, Quannum/MCA released Blazing Arrow, which boasted guest appearances ranging from vocalist Zack de la Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine) to the Roots' ?uestlove to veteran soul singer Gil Scott-Heron. After the requisite tour, both Xcel and Gab began developing solo material; Quannum released both Maroons' Ambush (Chief Xcel with Latyrx's Lateef the Truth Speaker) as well as a Gift of Gab solo LP, Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up. The pair returned in 2005 for their third album, The Craft, with a contract in hand from the Anti- label
On January 28th be prepared for an art show unlike any other! The Two-Headed Raptor Show invades Studio 8700, Oak Park's newest art gallery/performance space.
The Two-Headed Raptor Show is the collaboration of two local artists and life-long friends Brendan Patrick and Tom Beste. Their unique artistic vision is brought to life at this show which will also benefit a good cause, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. More than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis (more than 70,000 worldwide). Raising awareness of this disease is an important issue to both artists.
Blind artist Brendan Patrick and tattoo artist Tom Beste share an upbringing and residence in the Metro Detroit area, a lifelong devotion to the visual arts, and a passion for playing music in their rock band The Wretched Sights.
By Brendan Patrick
Brendan Patrick is a blind artist, but he hasn't always been blind. While fighting a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, Brendan lost his vision at the age of 26 due to complications from treatment. Having been an artist his entire life, Brendan had to find new ways to create. Through trial and error Brendan has devised a new technique using a raised texture so that he can feel his painting. He also selects his paints by labeling all his colors with braille. Currently, Brendan is the subject of a documentary being filmed about his daily successes and struggles titled “Can't See Sh*t” by local indie filmmaker Rob Cousineau. Brendan's artwork has been showcased at different galleries across the nation. He also does public speaking events, all in attempt to raise public awareness of cystic fibrosis.
By Tom Beste
Tom Beste works in a variety of mediums and has been a professional tattoo artist for the past decade. He was originally taught how to tattoo by Brendan before his friend lost his sight. Tom works at Eternal Tattoos in Eastpointe and has been employed there for the past seven years. Tom's media of choice for the exhibit is oil paint on canvas. His subject matter is intentionally cerebral, both sensual and macabre with a dynamic use of color.
By attending the show you will support the awareness for cystic fibrosis as all monies collected at the door for entry will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. $10 per person for entry. Included with entry is a chance to win an original collaborated painting by Brendan and Tom, via raffle. Live performances will entertain throughout the night and there will be pizza and refreshments served.
The date is SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 at 7 pm-1 amand all ages are welcome. Studio 8700 is located at 8700 W. Nine Mile Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237, phone number is 248-965-2832 and more information can be found on their website www.studio8700.com.
December 9, 2016 by RebeccaMich Filed under Uncategorized
This 45 single release with Hold Fast commemorates DUENDE!’s tenth anniversary performing live rock-n-roll to and fro the four points of the compass; the West (Austin), the South (New Orleans), the East (New York City), and the Great White North (Canada) while keeping their footing firmly in Detroit.
“Dance Party” was one of the first songs written by the band and has been a staple of the live set over their decade reign on the killing floor. Originally recorded in basement sessions, released CD only in 2007, you’ve never heard it until now on this limited vinyl only release. The band re-recorded the track along with its exclusive B-Side, “Keep It Cool”, in January 2016 with legendary sound engineer Jim Diamond at The Tempermill in Ferndale, MI.
The band invited some very special guests for the get down.
December 7, 2016 by DIETROIT Filed under Uncategorized
Everyone should know that Detroit theatrical punk band The Counter Elites has released their second album "The Pledge of Aggrievance" (recorded at Woodshed Studios, produced by Jonathan A. Berz) and is offering free downloads of both their albums throughthecounterelites.comfrom now untilDecember 17th….get over there and download these fantastic albums now for some great holiday listening!
December 2, 2016 by RebeccaMich Filed under Uncategorized
Join AIGA Detroit for a new series of ongoing Design Talks - moderated discussions geared towards specific topics with local creatives. December's design talk will focus on freelancing. Gain valuable insights and learn the ins and outs of the freelancing world!
It was Joe that originally introduced me to Rhythm Corps back in the late 80's when we were both students at Cousino High School in Warren, MI and were aspiring DJ's in the schools radio station, WPHS. My first concerts were with Joe seeing Rhythm Corps at such iconic Detroit venues as The Ritz...and then many a time afterwards at any festival or college bar we could attend. Anytime I hear Fathers Footsteps, Revolution Man, Broken Halo's, Satellites, or any of their other songs, Joe comes to mind.
So much so that on Saturday night after capturing The Beggars fantastic opening performance, as Michael Persh was in the middle of their 2nd song, and I had him dead-center in my viewfinder, I was suddenly and unexpectedly overcome with a flood of memories and emotions from all our years of Friendship and just lost it. Eyes filled with tears...I couldn't see clearly...and it took my breath away. All I could do was just honor the moment, the memories, and the music. I cleared my eyes and continued to shoot...capturing some of my all-time favorite images of any musical group I have ever shot in my 10+ year career.
So, to Joe, I miss you old Friend. You should have been there with me singing along to every single one of those songs just like the old days instead of leaving so soon. It wasn't the same, but, I will have to say I definitely felt your presence there. Thank you for all the memories that I can look back on and cherish.
As for the performances by The Beggars, Rhythm Corps and Sponge,... simply put, The Beggars killed it with their energetic performance, Rhythm Corps turned in what I would qualify as one of their BEST performances that I have ever seen without missing a step, and Vinnie and the boys of Sponge continue to hold up the mantle of Detroit Rock, always putting on a great show.
Thank you to Dana Forrester for the last minute photo credentials. It is always a pleasure working with you and helping promote our mutual love of Detroit music!
The holiday season is upon us and it is time once again for "Home for the Holidaze 14: Acoustic Showcase & Charity Drive." The event brings together local performers for one evening of acoustic music for a good cause. The donations and proceeds from the event go towards purchasing food and winter clothing items that are distributed to homeless people and animals thru our selected charities: CARE Rescue, Hater Kitty Rescue Army and Outcry Street Ministry. Performances by:
DOWNTOWN BROWN (acoustic)
PANCHO VILLA'S SKULL
The show is onFRIDAY, DEC. 16 at 9 pm. The venue is THE CADIEUX CAFElocated at 4300 Cadieux Rd. in Detroit. Please call313-882-8560.www.cadieuxcafe.com. 21 & over are welcome.
Admission is $5 with one can of people or pet food or winter clothing item or $6 without. Boots, blankets, socks and hats are much needed items this year. Static Network has been hosting this night of songwriters for the past decade to benefit the community's homeless people and animals. The donations and proceeds from the event go towards purchasing food and winter clothing items that is distributed to the homeless thru our selected charities:
Outcry Youth & Street Ministry - Brother Joe Hicks has been helping the homeless and youth in Detroit for over a decade. His nights are spent on the streets of downtown helping those less fortunate with the donations he receives.http://brotherjoesyouthandstreetministry.com
CARE Rescue - Compassionate Animal Rescue Efforts (C.A.R.E.) was established by a family of animal loving advocates in 2014. Their main mission is to help lower the rates of animals brought into shelters daily. Since becoming a foster based non-profit organization we have been able to successfully rescue over 180 animals to date! They are currently working with shelters in Macomb county to help place animals. http://www.care-rescue.com/ Pet food donations are also collected each year and donated to a non-profit animal rescue shelter. Hater Kitty Rescue Armyis a local cat rescue group who takes care of Eastside of Detroit neighborhood strays, gets them health checked, and places them in forever homes.www.HaterKitty.com.
The one and only Stirling – veteran music promoter/nightclub impressario and Detroit's viceroy of Rock n' Roll - will celebrate his 65th Birthday Detroit style! This year is no exception, as he has gathered together some of his favorite musicians to reunite for the night and celebrate.
The date isSATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at 8 pmand all patrons 18 & over are welcome. Admission is $10. The event will be held at THE TANGENT GALLERY/Hastings St. Ballroom located at 715 E. Milwaukee in Detroit.(313-873-2955) Featuring Music By:
THE SIGHTS – The Sights reunite for the show! Don't miss it! Eddie Baranek and crew of Bobby Emmett and Dave Shettler reunite and rock out their favorite songs for you!
THE ROYAL SWEETS/THE PAYBACKS - Wendy Case returns to the stage premiering her new band The Royal Sweets! Then it's a blast from the past with a short but sweet set by The Paybacks!
THE WITCHES – One of Troy Gregory's many faces is fronting The Witches who will reprise their magical sounds for the show.
DANNY KROHA – Third Man recording artist and Detroit music scene veteran Danny Kroha will perform a variety of songs from his musical repertoire.
HEARTHROB CHASSIS - This hot new rock n' roll band is fronted by femme fatale Margaret Dollrod who always kicks out the jams.
RYAN ALLEN & HIS EXTRA ARMS – Songwriter Ryan Allen and his band will play a powerful pop punk set for you!
WHITE SHAG - Detroit's throbbing trio will open the show with their signature Quatro-phonic sound!
Oh you better watch out…’cus he’s coming back to town! On Friday December 2nd 2016, Krampus is at it again with the 6th annual festive event:
KRAMPUS NIGHT 6 - A HOLIDAY BENEFIT EXTRAVAGANZA
Who is Krampus? Only the swellest devil to accompany ole’ St Nick on his rounds during the holidays. Unlike Santa, he joyfully punishes the naughty by swatting them with switches…but who doesn’t? However, on this day he’s a devil with a cause helping those in need with a…
Bring in some new toys or cans of food and get in on the cheap (and some good feels)! All toy donations are taken directly to a Toys For Tots center to benefit less fortunate children during the holidays and all canned donations go to Burners Without Borders Detroit to help feed the homeless (click here for details).
But he’s not stopping there with his benevolent malevolence! He’s also helping to support local artists with a…
Generously donated by various artists of the DAMNED Exhibition, Corpus Illuminata and the Krampus Bazaar, you can bid to take home some amazing fine art while helping the homeless! 100% of all auction funds go directly to Burners Without Borders Detroit to help purchase much needed supplies to create survival backpacks for the homeless (click here for details).
It’s a “no-so-holiday” exhibition of naughty art, animatronics, ornaments and decorations! The exhibition will be spread out all over the venue. And this year, WTH includes a bad gingerbread house competition!
And for your “entertainment”, we once again bring you the hilariously disastrous…
Come experience a wild night of amazingly bad lip syncing, barely rehearsed skits and impromptu shenanigans loosely based on your favorite holiday television and film classics! Featuring Satori Circus, Lushes LaMoan, Sofía Syntaxx, Bootsie La Fontaine, Scott Dambacher and lounge singer extraordinaire Konrad Lee!
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also…
Live action Fugly Holiday Sweater Contest!
A full bar with all the boozy trimmings and spiked punch!
Swanky holiday lounge music all night…in the lounge
So-bad-they’re-good vintage holiday B-movies all night
And THE BIG MAN HIMSELF (KRAMPUS) will be present on his throne to hear how naughty you’ve been all year. Will you get switched or candy? That’s HIS call.
+ Schedule +
07:00 – Wreck The Halls & the Krampus Bazaar opens 09:00 – Big K arrives giving photo opps, swattings & candy 10:00 – Christmahanakwanza Variety Show Spectacular Pt1 10:45 – Audience participation Fugly Holiday Sweater Contest 11:00 – Christmahanakwanza Variety Show Spectacular Pt2 11:50 – Gingerbread House Competition winner selection 12:00 – Last call (& bidding fight!) for the Silent Auction 02:00 – GET OUT AND GO SOMEPLACE ELSE!
+ Admission +
$10 with New Unwrapped Toy and/or 3 Canned Food Donation*
$15 for rotten stinkin’ Scrooges without either
*non-Scrooges also receive a coupon worth $5 off their purchase of $25 or more in the Krampus Bazaar!
There is no dress code but creative/naughty/festive holiday costuming welcome!
Krampus Night 6 – A Not-So-Holiday Charity Benefit Extravaganza Friday December 2nd 2016 – 7pm until 2am – Strictly 18+ Tangent Gallery/Hastings, 715 E Milwaukee St, Detroit, MI
Merry Krampus and Stay Naughty!!!
+ 2016 Krampus Bazaar Artists
& Merchants +
Armageddon Beachparty - Psychedelic Pop Art Wares for the Well Curated Individual
B.P. LeGault/B-Bomb Music & Arts - Paintings of black cats that dig sex, catnip, and tattoos
Brian Lewandowski and Ramona Minjoe - Leather masks, ornaments, art prints and stained glass mosaics
Curious City Art - Found object jewelry
Dekilah - Necklaces, felted pendants, critters & mini frames, and self portrait photography prints.
Detroit Kaiju & Motor City Dolly - Monster art and custom Blythe dolls
DVS - Small framed art, "altar relics", tshirts, lighters, cards and prints.
Electric Vector - Fictional Vintage Posters
fairiesfive - handmade art purses and totes
Julie Fournier - Ornaments and Prints
Motor City Nightmares/Skull House Den - One of a kind creepy coffin boxes, masks, jewelry and more.
Painted Lady Trashions - Oddities, jewelry, taxidermy and specimens.
Poking Dead Things - Elegant jewelry and decor made from ethically sourced and naturally processed animal bones.
Shanta Ambady Ceramics - Handmade ceramic housewares with a quirky, dark sense of humor
Silber Gypsy (formally Just A Little Off) - A lot of skills, wire wrapped Jewelry, funky fun fashion jewelry & spa quality sexy bath &body produ
The Divine Iguana - Oddly thoughtful jewelry and gift items
Zachariah Messiah - Bats, Tarantulas, and Octopus..
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