WARMFEST - MON SEPT 2 - SINGLE DAY TICKETS, Michael Franti & Spearhead
G Love & Special Sauce, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, 3rd Bass, J. Rabbit, The Coup, DJ Logic, Dessa, Said The Whale, Oreo Jones, KO, A Squared DJ's, PHNM, Hyryder, Faux Paw, DJ Action Jackson, Woodstove Flapjacks, The Whipstitch Sallies, The Dub Knight, Burlesque Bingo Bango, DJ Indiana Jones, Staying For The Weekend, Jessie & Amy, Carrie and the Clams, James Wallace & the Naked Light, JFet
1550 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indianapolis, IN, 46220
Doors 10:00 AM / Show 11:00 AM (event ends at 10:00 PM)
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
WARMFEST - MON SEPT 2 - SINGLE DAY TICKETS
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Sound Of Sunshine -- the inspired and inspiring new album by Michael Franti & Spearhead -- is a kind of musical sun shower, a bright, beautiful and often buoyant song cycle created to bring all kinds of listeners a sense of hope during rough and rainy times for so many in our world. “Music is sunshine,” says Michael Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” “Music is something you can’t hold in your hands, smell it, taste it or even see it, yet somehow just coming together and feeling these little vibrations that tickle our eardrums can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.” Ironically, often joyous and uplifting The Sound Of Sunshine actually came out of a darker and tougher personal experience for Franti. “Last August, my appendix ruptured suddenly in the middle of a tour and I ended up in the hospital for eight days while they figured out what was wrong with me,” recalls Franti. “I almost died and I wrote many of these songs coming out of that experience while I was in the hospital for another week or so after that. During that time, I really took a moment to prioritize what’s truly important in my life -- and in the end, that’s really about the people who I love. Even in that hospital, I could laugh with the people I love, cry with them, and start to find the sun again.” Well aware that countless others face far worse problems than he did, Franti wants The Sound Of Sunshine to communicate a sense of hope and possibility for anybody who needs it. Franti’s singularly open spirit reflects his own eclectic and intriguing background. Michael was born to an Irish-German-French mother and an African American and American Indian father in Oakland, then adopted by a Finnish American couple who raised him along with their three biological children and another African American son. While studying at the University of San Francisco, Franti formed the punk band The Beatnigs, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Through it all, Franti has crossed all sorts of musical and physical boundaries in order to make music for everybody. In the mid-Nineties, Franti first formed Spearhead, and increasingly in recent years, he’s found his own voice musically and his own organic brand of popular success. Franti and Spearhead’s last album, 2008’s All Rebel Rockers -- recorded in Jamaica with legendary producers and players Sly & Robbie – became the biggest hit of Franti’s career, hitting the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, and yielded his biggest hit, the Top 20 “Say Hey (I Love You).” “I had a nice, long time to get ready for that first hit, and so I really appreciated it when it happened,” says Franti. “So when we were just mastering the new album, I was saying to my manager, “Boy, wouldn’t it be fun to have a sophomore hit?” He was like, “Sophomore hit? You’ve already been through grad school, man” So yes, I’ve paid some dues, and that’s made getting this far -- and still being here -- mean even more to me. The funny thing is that `Say Hey’ went into the Top Twenty right as I was being wheeled into surgery. I got the text, and I thought, `Wow, I’ve finally got a hit record, and I’m not even going to live to enjoy it.’ That put everything in perspective too.” Michael Franti is not a man to openly chase success – in fact; he’s not a man who even wears shoes(for the last ten years). Still, Franti has absolutely no problem hearing his music on the radio now. “When I was a kid, I used to listen to AM radio on family vacations in the car, and at family barbeques and my dad would leave the radio on. So songs that were the silly pop hits became a really meaningful part of my childhood - and of my adult life now. So when I think of the fact that there’s some family out there on the beach in the summer together listening to `Say Hey,’ it makes me feel really good. The truth is a good pop song that makes you feel good can be something of value and meaning to people.” Arguably the most cohesive, romantic and life-affirming album that Franti and Spearhead have ever made, The Sound Of Sunshine reflects the fact that, as Franti puts it, “With time, you get a better sense who you are and how to put together all your musical passions into your own sound. I feel like for a long time, I dabbled in other sounds. Like `Let’s do something with a reggae vibe here.’ Or `Let’s really rock here.’ But now, I write everything from the acoustic guitar up -- which keeps you honest. Then Jay Bowman, my songwriting partner and I, take a lot of time figuring out what’s the best way to present this song and make every word of it come across and ring true.” Even the recording process for The Sound Of Sunshine reflects Franti’s desire to communicate directly with his audience. “We started in Jamaica actually recording a bunch of tracks with Sly and Robbie who are, of course, great, and we used some of those tracks. Then we got home and started mixing the record. Then I went to Bali and wrote some more songs, but we still didn’t have it finished. So we said let’s bring a portable studio on the road with us. We’d literally recorded the drums in the locker room of the Toronto Raptors or in the shower of some NHL team. Then we’d go right onstage and play the song and see how other people would react to it. We’d see what worked and go back and record it again the next day. So these songs have really been road tested in front of live bodies.” For Franti, “To play for people and share your songs with them is to make a real connection. That’s why we play outside our shows for those who can’t afford to come inside. They need the songs too – maybe more. That’s the reality. And as a musician I was on tour with put it recently, “Our fans didn’t come to us from a reality show. They came to us from reality.” And so, we mean something in their lives. We’re the music they put on when they drive their little kids to school, or hang out with the person they love at night. There’s no higher honor. So they have an investment in the music. And that means so much because this music is very personal to me too.”
G Love & Special Sauce
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews' is a rare artist who can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy rock show capable of mesmerizing international rock stars and audiences alike. With such an unprecedented mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, he had to create his own name to describe his signature sound: Supafunkrock!
3rd Bass were a rap group in the late 1980s and early 1990s, notable for being one of the first interracial rap groups in history. Like the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass helped prove that white rap was viable both critically and commercially.
MC Serch (Michael Berrin), Pete Nice (Pete Nash) and DJ Richie Rich (Richard Lawson) were the three founding members of the group. Richie Rich was a local d.j. and is African-American, Nice was a student at Columbia University and hosted a hip hop show on WKCR. MC Serch rapped at clubs and block parties and released a single called "Hey Boy" on Idlers, an independent record label.
Sam Sever, a producer, convinced Nice and Serch to work together in 1987. Sever, Prince Paul, and The Bomb Squad produced The Cactus Album (The Cee/Dee), a critically acclaimed debut LP.
The Coup is a political hip hop group based in Oakland, California. It formed as a three-member group in 1992 with rappers (Raymond) Boots Riley and E-Roc along with DJ Pam the Funkstress. E-Roc left on amicable terms after the group's second album, but appears on the track "Breathing Apparatus" on The Coup's third album, Steal This Album. The group is now a duo.
The Coup, part of the sub-genre of political hip hop, is politically radical and Marxist in their music, and align themselves with other radical hip-hop groups like dead prez. Their music is characterized by electronic sounds and bass-driven backbeats overlaid by humorous, cynical and sometimes violent lyrics criticizing capitalism, American politics, pimping as a form of patriarchal exploitation, and police brutality, among other things.
The Coup's debut album was 1993's Kill My Landlord. In 1994 they released their second album, Genocide and Juice. After a four-year recording hiatus, the group released the critically acclaimed Steal This Album in 1998, the title of which was reminiscent of lifestylist Abbie Hoffman's Steal this Book. The album featured the stand-out single "Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada Last Night". The online magazine Dusted called Steal This Album "the best hip-hop album of the 1990s".
"The theorem of turntablist as musician has been long proven in the capable hands of DJ LOGIC, whom with jazz as his foundation has become a wax innovator by crossing genres and sprinkling his sound across the map. As one of the world's most accomplished turntablist's, DJ LOGIC is widely credited for introducing jazz into the hip - hop realms and is considered by most as a highly respected session musician and an innovative bandleader.
Since his emergence in the early nineties amidst the Bronx hip-hop scene, the New York City based deejay has been amassing a veritable mountain of collaborations ranging from the likes of: MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, VERNON REID, CHARLIE HUNTER, JACK DeJOHNETTE, JOHN MAYER, BEN HARPER, MOS DEF and THE ROOTS, to name but a few.
These days, DJ LOGIC is focusing on studio endeavors, producing notable projects such as: Re-imagination with jazz piano phenomenon ELDAR ; collaborating with VERNON REID on a project he co-founded called the Yohimbe Brothers ; touring with CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE in support of Live at Tonic ; participating in a side project called SOLESIDE (featuring KYLE HOLLINGSWORTH from STRING CHEESE INCIDENT and SPEECH from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) and co-anchoring a rock band with JOHN POPPER (The John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic) . LOGIC'S body of work also includes three highly accomplished solo albums (Zen of Logic; The Anomaly; Presents Project Logic), all released on Ropeadope Records.
DJ LOGIC and his role as an electronic-music ambassador keeps him at the top of his game. Whether the scratch artist instructs tablas to flirt with drum 'n' bass (such as on his NINA SIMONE and BILLY HOLIDAY remixes found on Sony Legacy's Remixed and Reimagined volumes) , or while meshing free styling MC's with Afro-Cuban rhythms (such as on 'Share Worldwide Funk' - a remix produced for JACK DeJOHNETTE and Golden Beams Collected, Volume 1 ) , LOGIC can always be found paying homage to his predecessors while contributing his vision to the deejay genre. While the context of his work may vary, DJ LOGIC'S spinning skills are definitely beyond reproach. He works with a phenomenal roster of invited guests, and he knows how to pick his collaborators as well as his samples. With a growing catalogue of recordings under his belt, DJ LOGIC'S supreme musicianship and catholic tastes will allow him to journey wherever an infectious groove may take him.
From its first track, Dessa's new full-length Parts of Speech (6.25.13, Doomtree Records) announces itself as something different. The Doomtree veteran and inveterate wordsmith — having proved her mettle in the fields of creative non-fiction, spoken-word and hip-hop — jettisons all genre expectations on "The Man I Knew" and croons a heartbreaking lament to a disintegrating relationship at an explosively-building clip.
From this moment on Dessa — oft--described as "Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker" for the wit and flow shown off on previous solo albums A Badly Broken Code and Castor, The Twin — proves she has truly coalesced as an artist, transcending the restrictions of genre to reveal an astonishing multi-platform voice.
"I wanted to investigate the idea that a cohesive record isn't always made cohesive by having twelve songs that sound the same. I figured when you make a mixtape for a friend, you can get away with a range of genres and a lot of dynamic change. Why can't I approach an album like that? The sequence has to be just right, and we worked hard to nail it, but the thing that holds this record together is the sensibility of the lyrics, rather than a uniform theme."
Track two kicks off a stunning hat-trick of the record's standout numbers. "Call Off Your Ghost" is an admittedly haunting dirge on the "struggle for grace in the wake of a long relationship." An arena-sized chorus tucked into a melancholy lullaby, "Ghost" has that unique ability to perfectly soundtrack new love or bitter breakup at the same time.
Dessa then puts her fists up for "Warsaw." The track boasts a beat like Azealia Banks playing Pacman, which provides a background for our emcee's confident, hypnotic flow. Narrative takes a backseat to mood here, as Dessa spits impressionistic one-ups like "I sleep with both eyes open, standing up," daring you to blink first.
"Skeleton Key" contains Parts of Speech's mission statement: "I haven't met a locked door yet." An ode to female self-reliance that doesn't waste ambiance for message, the track plays like a great, lost M. Night Shyamalan movie, calling forth an era out of time in the story of a woman, a key and a bottomless reserve of courage.
"This record involves multiple narratives. It explores the same themes of love, loss, connection and communion as a lot of my work, but the angle and lens through which they're explored sets this album apart from my previous ones. The production techniques were new for me too — we spent a lot of time crafting a record that could include live players, Doomtree production, and sometimes a blend of the two."
While the album is born of Dessa's artistic vision, it benefits from the collaboration of her varied friends. Parts of Speech owes much of its impact to its diverse production. Dessa got her start as a member of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree — eventually going on to help manage the group's business affairs as they launched their own label — and members Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger lend their production to several tracks.
The players in Dessa's live ensemble all contributed to the record, as did several top-flight Minneapolis musicians working in rock, folk, and opera. She even enlisted a cellist she found on Pandora to make the gorgeously-layered foundation of penultimate track "It's Only Me."
Dessa, born and raised in Minneapolis after her parents met at a Duluth music store, was valedictorian of her high school, eventually skipping a year of college and graduating with honors before she could legally drink. Armed with a philosophy degree, the intrepid Midwesterner spent her nights as a waitress and days writing reference manuals used by doctors in the implantation of pacemakers.
"Language and verbal communication were important in my family. If I could argue my way into a later curfew, that argument was entertained. My parents may have regretted that policy later but it was a great motivator to help me develop a facility with words."
A love of words is evident in both Parts of Speech's title and its ethos, as Dessa's philosophy training surfaces too. The rousing chorus of "Fighting Fish" references the Greek philosophical paradox of Zeno's Arrow. "Beekeeper," polished up from a starker appearance on Castor, finds Greek god Prometheus repossessing fire from the humans. "Sound the Bells" sings of Mercator, the cartographical genius who pioneered flat maps of a round world.
Parts of Speech could be made by no one but Dessa, but in its evolution and awareness it is the perfect culmination of the journey started with 2010's A Badly Broken Code. Middle album Castor, The Twin was in many ways a blueprint for Speech. The earlier albums were praised widely for their focus and depth, but Speech shows a fantastic breadth.
By uniting a wealth of different tones and narratives under Dessa's unmistakable poeticism, Parts of Speech greatly resembles Sherwood Anderson's modernist fiction classic Winesburg, Ohio. Dessa creates a new world, populating it with complex characters, beautiful sonic landscapes and refreshing, assertive production.
An album that can boom out of a car window after its summer release, or soundtrack a November night in, Parts of Speech marks a highpoint in Dessa's career and demonstrates the crossover power of the rising star's burgeoning arsenal.
Said The Whale
Said The Whale formed in 2007 as a collaboration between songwriters Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The pair's debut EP, Taking Abalonia, featured sunny west coast indie pop, with breezy harmonies, shimmering guitars, and lyrical tributes to their home city of Vancouver. In 2008, the album was rereleased as Howe Sounds/Talking Abalonia, featuring seven additional tracks that stretched the band's stylistic palate to include bubblegum folk ("The Light Is You"), thundering hard rock ("Last Tree Standing") and gentle ukulele ballads ("The Real of It"). After several personnel changes, the group settled upon a five-piece lineup that includes bassist Nathan Shaw, drummer Spencer Schoening, and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown. The quintet embarked upon a rigorous touring schedule, crossing Canada numerous times and landing high profile gigs at V-Fest 2008 in Calgary and the nationally televised Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill.
Just who is the hunk of burning love we have come to know as Oreo Jones?
He is as unique as his Cosby sweater – a bearded brother who summons multiple musical personalities for every new project. But at the heart of it, Oreo Jones is just a true emcee mixing everything he's got – literally beats, rhymes and life – into a bracing hip-hop stew. In the spring of 2010, Jones grabbed the Indianapolis music scene by the throat with the release of his Delicious EP. Anchored by the success of the single “Good Times” – which was prominently featured on several national music blogs – the album reached #4 on the Hypem.com Twitter chart.
Fast forward to the NOW … and Jones is preparing to launch his latest juggernaut with his debut solo long-player, Betty, dropping on Sept. 4 on the estimable Rad Summer label. This platter showcases the same gregarious personality while featuring songs about the trials, tribulations and everyday shenanigans that are at the soul of Oreo Jones. Through clever story telling and a sick flow, Jones takes us on a very personal tour through the parts of life that built his character.
Eschewing the sample-based production that made the Delicious EP so yummy, Betty provides thick-cut, genre bending beats that you can sink your teeth into. The lyrics tackle everything from slavery on "House Nigga", to a more laid back cuts like “No Coast” – an electronic daydream about kickin’ it West Coast while landlocked in Naptown. By the end of the record, it is clear that Oreo Jones has broken the mold and will defy all expectations. Betty is Jones' musical testament to becoming his own man – not to mention the best emcees ever named after a cookie! The standout single "Needy" – outlining Jones' desire to make Betty a beacon of light in the choppy seas of the rap game – will have a video forthcoming early next month.
Prior to Betty, Oreo Jones was known for the sheer diversity of his projects. He has a natural ability to pull in people from all walks of life to create unique and memorable music. Last year, Jones linked up with indie rock bands We Are Hex (Roaring Colonel, Third Man Records), Jookabox (Asthmetic Kitty, Joyful Noise), The Woodhands (Paper Bag Recordings), and Fair Fijola to craft the Oreo Jones & Friends EP to benefit VH1′s Save The Music project. And his love of ALL things female lead to the infamous Black Fabio collaboration with DJ Action Jackson – a concept mixtape that featured the single “Reggie Miller” (think Digital Underground’s Sex Packets meets Handsome Boy Modeling School).
Who knows what's else is in store for someone with as many badass ideas as Oreo Jones ... packing the dance floor AND having all the ladies screaming just might not be enough..
A resident of Chicago, Colin Rebey better known as PHENOM has hit the ground running. In just less than a year, Rebey has moved quickly in establishing residencies at some of the most highly populated clubs in Wicker Park, Wrigleyville, and downtown. He currently maintains 5 weekly residencies playing all genres and fulfilling the needs of any of his crowds whether it be the upscale downtown dinne
rtime crowd at Hub51 for his Friday residency or something a little more full throttle such as his 10pm-5am high energy sweat soaked Saturday night residency at evilOlive, one of Chicago's most talked about venues.
Phenom has toured throughout the midwest and has hit both coasts taking his show on the road for crowds extremely pleased with his intertwining of genres.
This year he has shared the stage with national touring acts including A-Trak, MSTRKRFT, Laidback Luke, Nero, Dillon Francis, Boys Noize, Wolfgang Gartner, Mt. Eden, Dirty Loud, Lucky Date, The Killabits Kreayshawn, Derrick Carter, Flosstradamous, Wale, Sir Michael Rocks and VIP J (The Cool Kids), Tennille, Raekwon (Wu Tang Clan), Million Dollar Mano (Tour DJ for Kanye West), Drop The Lime (Trouble And Bass), Sammy Bananas (Fools Gold), DJ Zebo, Willy Joy (Trouble And Bass), Deathface on the Fall Of Man Tour in Louisville Kentucky (Trouble And Bass), Hollywood Holt, and many more weekly!
Faux Paw is a band from Lafayette, IN formed in the fall of 2011. Gordon Wantuch and Garrett Ney met while doing the singer/songwriter thing at open mics around town and decided to start a rock n roll band together. They met Tom Lageveen and Stephen Freeman at a show or a party and yada yada yada, slugs and snails, puppy dog tails, Fleetwood Mac, Television, Steely Dan, Wilco...
DJ Action Jackson
Indianapolis born and raised, Action Jackson has quickly established himself as one of the premier DJs in the Midwest, playing well over 200 shows in 2011. Specializing in genre bending mixes that span multiple styles of music, he is equally comfortable spinning hip-hop, house, dubstep, moombahton, indie rock, and everything in between. His productions are diverse as well, having remixed artists such as Passion Pit, Hall and Oates, and Smokey Robinson. 2011 found Action linking with emcee Oreo Jones for their collaboration "Black Fabio", a parody of the famous model from the 80's. In short, there’s not a crowd or party that he can’t rock including large festivals such as Forecastle, Identity Festival, and The Indianapolis 500, the largest single day sporting event in the world.
In 2007, he partnered with Flufftronix to form Rad Summer, a promotion and booking company based in Bloomington, IN. Now based in Philly and Indianapolis, RAD SUMMER has become an established name in the Midwest and East-Coast; partnering with brands such as Scion, Mad Decent, Colt 45, IHEARTCOMIX, Fresh Melt Water, Mishka etc… and booking acts such as Rusko, Benga, Flosstradamus (as performers they’ve also partnered in events for such artists as Soulja Boy, The MisShapes, DJ AM, Steve Aoki, and Girl Talk). In 2011 Rad Summer expanded to include a full fledged record label, with releases from Flufftronix, Figure, Lemi Vice, RX & Shiftee, and Dave Owen. 2012 finds the label preparing a wide variety of releases including the debut full length from Oreo Jones, a collaboration moombahton EP from Lemi Vice and Knife Fight, a downtempo release from Finnish producer Somepoe, and the return of Black Fabio.
Noteworthy Acts Performed with:
Girl Talk, Flosstradamus, Soulja Boy, Green Velvet, Jeremih, LA RIOTS, VHSorBeta, DJ Assault, the Misshapes, Designer Drugs, The Glitch Mob, Das Racist, Danny Brown, Matt and Kim, Scottie B, Bird Peterson, DJ Mehdi, Riton, DJ Ayres, Blu Jemz, Cosmo Baker, Totally Michael, DJ Sega, Krames, Cousin Cole, Huggs, Curtis Vodka, the Toxic Avenger, Franki Chan, Jubilee, Star Eyes, Million $ Mano, Reid Speed, Villains, Mike Relm, The Hood Internet, Diamonds (the glamour), Lauren Flax, Dark Wave Disco DJS, DJ Fashen, Sammy Bananas, Skeet Skeet, DJ Benzi, Figure, DJ Class, Emynd, Nick Catchdubs, Chew Fu, Claire Hux, Apt One and Skinny Friedman, Kid Color, Dances with White Girls, Prince Terrence, Rob Threezy, Team Bayside High, Rampage, Flufftronix, Talib Kweli, Todosantos, Dirty South Joe, Dance with the Devil, Zebo, Willy Joy, Naughty By Nature, DJ Topspeed, Scott Matelic, DJ Sleeper, etc...
Cities Performed in:
New York, NY, Philladelphia, PA, Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Cincinnati, OH, Louisville, KY, St Louis, MO, Baltimore, MD, Miami, FL, Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Columbus, OH, Three Oaks, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Bloomington, IN
The Woodstove Flapjacks have been entertaining eager masses for over 6 years. Continuing the traditions of early American Stringband music, The Flapjacks mix booming vocals, harmonica and kazoo, banjo’s, guitars, mandolin, ukulele, and washtub bass into a raucous good time. This focus on traditional tunes allows the listener to step back to a time when lyrics were written from experience and music was hashed out on a front porch. Lead vocalist Matt Scherger once described the resurgence of stringband music as inevitable, due to the fact that the interest, as well as ability, seems to skip a generation
The Whipstitch Sallies
After their debut festival appearance in July 2010 alongside Goldmine Pickers (Goshen, IN) and The Steel Wheels (Harrisonburg, VA), The Whipstitch Sallies have kept a rigorous
performance schedule around central Indiana, leading The Indianapolis Star to say that “The
Whipstitch Sallies have been creating a buzz on the local bluegrass/folk music scene.” Their lively, energetic performances engage crowds in festival settings like Bean Blossom’s John Hartford Memorial Festival as well as intimate venues like the Indy Folk Series.
All the girls sing lead and harmony vocals, and this versatility is a strength for the group’s rootsy Americana sound. A fan writes, “One thing I noticed is that while they sang, they listened to each other. They looked and they gave attention to each other. You see, harmony in a song is not just about three or four different pitches. No, it is much more. Allie, Sam, Kat, and Katie seem to embody that spirit.”
Allie Burbrink brings driving rhythm and picking on acoustic guitar and banjo while Kat Erickson holds down the groove on upright bass. Meanwhile, Sam Roberts’ powerful mandolin
style and Katie Burk’s spirited fiddle leads show their diverse influences – from old-time to punk. The Back Road Radio Show affirms, “These...delightful young ladies combine incredible vocal harmonies and skillful, hi-power picking into a potent folk and bluegrass mix.”
James Wallace & the Naked Light
It was once said that James Wallace would be the kind of guy you'd want on your side if you ever got into a music fight in prison. He'd probably tell you that too, just to clarify his position on not getting into a real fight in prison. That said, his penchant for dark and clever wordplay above eerily-cheery melodies, begs there may be a few twisted stories from his past that we've yet to hear.
Similar to what has often been said of Belle and Sebastian's earlier works, More Strange News From Another Star captures a distinct vintage quality channeled from some non-existent folk music period of decades past. Often referenced to Paul Simon in vocal range and use of textured percussion, Wallace's writing showcases a similar love of African music and Gospel harmonies. But more often than not, his band heads into the more ramshackle, go-for-broke qualities of the early Kinks. A kind of Rock and Roll bred with cacaphony that balances eerily well beneath Wallace's falsetto.
As for the influences in his stories, that is quite the rabbit hole to explore. Whether they be citied from one of his many wandering trips to China, his short residency as a piano player for a small Black Mennonite Church in Appalachia, or an oft mentioned tale about a mysterious box of letters found in an abandoned storehouse concerning aliens and the end of the world, Wallace seems to have a lot to draw on, and that well dosen't seem to be running dry anytime soon.