The Greyboy Allstars

When the Greyboy Allstars first formed, two decades ago next year, they were nothing short of groundbreaking. They have influenced an entire generation of bands playing improvisational music in a funk format. Meanwhile, they have outlasted most of their contemporaries, because they have continued to enjoy working together and have honed the essence of their collaboration – also refining their chops while busy with their highly successful individual musical endeavors – without ever chasing trends. Throughout, they have continued to operate completely independently, slightly under the radar, with no major label support or radio airplay, while attracting thousands to legendary shows in cities across the country.

On Inland Emperor, the Greyboy Allstars’ fourth studio album to date, one hears the benefits that accrue when a group of exceptional players with a wide variety of tastes and musical experiences continue to collaborate for 20 years. The cornerstones of The Greyboy Allstars sound remain the same: funk, soul and jazz; or, looked at another way, rhythm and spontaneity. Without attempting to recreate them, the band has drawn upon elements of many genres: old soundtracks, psychedelic garage rock, ’80s dance music, ’70s FM soft rock and Tropicalia, to name a few. As a result, Inland Emperor has the vibe of a mixtape whose tracks are united by an emphasis upon rhythm.

The Greyboy Allstars came together in 1994, when the individual members were asked to perform at a record release party for the landmark acid jazz and club staple “Freestylin,” by San Diego’s DJ Greyboy, who was famous for spinning `70s soul and funk. The guys so enjoyed playing together that they decided to continue on as a band. Right out of the box, The Greyboy Allstars starting playing weekly at San Diego’s now defunct Green Circle, weekends at San Francisco’s Elbo Room and various clubs throughout Europe. By playing danceable boogaloo music within the soul jazz genre, they became a national and international phenomenon. The lineup of the band remains nearly the same as it did on their breakthrough, West Coast Boogaloo: Denson on horns and vocals, Robert Walter on keyboards, Elgin Park (aka Michael Andrews) on guitars and vocals, and Chris Stillwell on bass. Original drummer Zak Najor has passed the baton on to Aaron Redfield, an old friend of the band and frequent collaborator. While DJ Greyboy is no longer a member of the band, he remains a central figure in their artistic output, having introduced the band to many of the records that inspire their sound, produced their first album and appeared on 2007′s What Happened to Television?

At this point, the band’s members are as well known for their non-Allstars projects as for their work with the band. The individual members have gone to score film and television shows, work with platinum artists and bands both on the road and in the studio, and head their own highly regarded solo projects.

Even for these now well-seasoned musicians, the catalytic force that takes hold when they collaborate with each other seems to pleasantly surprise them. For Inland Emperor, they worked out the arrangements during the recording, which took place live over just a few sessions at Elgin Park’s studio in Glendale, CA. Denson says of this accelerated pace of creation, “We do in one week would take me two months to do in any other situation.” Amazingly, the 12 tracks comprising the album, mostly written by groupings of the band’s members, are seamless performances, and sound as if they’d been rehearsed and road-tested for months.
Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Mickey Petralia (Beck, Peaches, Eels, Flight of the Conchords) mixed the tracks, expertly capturing the energy and collaborative joy inherent in the recording.

Inland Emperor follows the critically acclaimed What Happened to Television?, which prompted The Los Angeles Times to write, “The [music of] this talented collective feels so cozy and organic you never want to leave its inviting groove.”
This spring and summer, audiences across the country will have opportunities to experience the Greyboy Allstars’ music in its ideal format: live. Given the likelihood that the chance won’t come again soon, these are shows not to miss.

Lance Herbstrong

The movement known as Lance Herbstrong.

Through stream-of-consciousness aural atmospherics, Lance Herbstrong takes you on a trip, sustaining musical momentum with sonic layers propelling the rhythms. The result is music that is ethereal and organic, of the air and of the earth, and always moving. The nation's most esteemed climate change scientists described their first Lance Herbstrong show as a 'motherf---ing Fun Bomb that just goes off inside you.'

Conceived in the fertile soil of the secret compost garden behind the Temple of Ra, founding member Kamal Soliman was born attuned to the natural rhythms of the universe. His talent for weaving the sounds of the inner world with the outer world through an electronic collective consciousness came early. As a youth he moved through the B-Boy scene, popping and locking with the best, until his belief that all musical forces should join as one moved him from the dance floor to the studio. It was in the studio one day soon after, that the Lance Herbstrong path was laid out to Kamal. In a cloud of smoke, an ancient sorcerer appeared and instructed Kamal to combine his golden ear with the talents of one Bill Sarver, the greatest undiscovered beatmaker West of the Mississippi. Before the sorcerer left, he entrusted Kamal and Bill with a magic maraca, capable of bringing even the worst of dancers to get up and cut rug. From that day on, the duo would channel their power through a series of mashups and remixes, all of which were released to critical acclaim. Creating dubby landscapes isn't without cost, as Kamal is quick to point out, "Many plants have been sacrificed in the making of this music."

After serving a short house arrest sentence for pirating Kraftwerk 8-tracks, Bill Sarver was just another down on his luck carny with a pocketful of broken dreams. Then, late one full-mooned night, a fortune-telling lady looked into her crystal ball and foresaw a great change coming in his life. After she fell asleep, Bill stole her crystal ball and pawned it for a mixer. His life hasn't been the same ever since. Bill has done programming for industrial metal acts 16volt, Scum of the Earth, and Soak. When he is not working with Lance Herbstrong, Bill is choreographing a dance battle he hopes will be used in "Spider Man the Musical."

When he was learning to play the guitar, Peter DiStefano's music teacher said he'd "give his right nut to play with Perry Farrell." Being young and a bit too literal, Pete did exactly that. "It was definitely worth it," Pete said after joining Farrell to create Porno For Pyros. "In fact, I'd do it again, if, you know, I'd been born with three nuts. I wasn't." While many people know Pete has released several solo albums and collaborated with groups such as Stone Temple Pilots, few know of Pete's song writing skills. When he was only seven, Pete wrote the lyrics "Hump-backed, grossed-out freaks like us, baby, we've got the runs," and sent them to Bruce Springsteen. The Boss has yet to give Pete credit.

Joining Lance Herbstrong for live sets are percussionists Ricky Gonzalez and Frank Orrall. When not playing for the Chicago Afrobeat Project and other bands in need of superior drumming, Ricky prefers to spend his time in a Panic Room eating Cheese Poofs. Frank, of Thievery Corporation and Poi Dog Pondering fame, has written over 100 hymns for Sarah Palin.

Together, they create the movement known around the world as Lance Herbstrong. Listen to their layered sounds and the connected grooves. Let it get into your orifices. Your day will be better.

This bio is degradable.

$24.20 ADV $27.50 DOS

Cancelled

Box Office is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm and All Show Nights, 410-244-0057. Unless otherwise noted Maryland State's 10% Admissions and Amusement Tax is included in the ticket price.

add to your calendar

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
Baltimore Soundstage

Ticketfly

The Greyboy Allstars with Lance Herbstrong

Friday, June 28 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Baltimore Soundstage

Cancelled