Itch, The Kickdrums, Astronauts Really Fly
951 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 5:30 PM
Denver band Air Dubai is more than the sum of its parts. It's not about the exciting combination of eclectic genres or even the explosive onstage energy. The group's appeal lies in its member's passion for the music they create, as well as their love for the people who come to see them perform. A heady mix of hip- hop, pop, soul, rock and electronic, Air Dubai exists not to fit into one specific category or sound, but instead to create something new and fresh on each album and even every song.
The band's roots date back to 2008, when high school friends vocalists Jon Shockness and Julian Thomas decided to create a hip-hop duo using the name Air Dubai. Originally utilizing pre-recorded beats, the pair collaborated for a year until they both felt the need to create music more organically. By spring of 2009, Air Dubai had its first rehearsal as a live band with instruments. By rounding out the lineup with Nick Spreigl (drums), Lawrence Grivich (guitar), Michael Ray (keyboard/synth), and Taylor Tait (bass), Air Dubai was able to transform itself into a shape-shifting powerhouse of talent, seamlessly blending genres and styles.
The clue is in the name. The debut release by Jonathan "Itch" Fox is titled, Manifesto Part 1: How To
Fucking Rule At Life. Clearly, this is the work and the outlook of a man who does not wish for his life
to be lived in the background. And when it comes to his music, Itch asks that listeners show a little
consideration for their neighbours: Turn the stereo up so that they may hear it too.
Over four albums and more than seven years with The King Blues – by far the finest band London has
produced since the storied days of the Sex Pistols and Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Itch acted as
bandleader and majority shareholder. While this band may now be gone, the music they created rings
out like a siren at a nuclear power plant. A full six months before one of the world's most vibrant cities
turned in on itself in a dance of fire and frustration in August 2011, Itch found himself occupying the role of prophet rather than songwriter when in "We're Fucking Angry" he declared, "this is class war, this is class war, it's what we wear our hoods and our masks for." As the music writer Greil Marcus once
observed, "To make true political music you have to say things that decent people don't care to hear."
The Kickdrums are a Brooklyn-based indie rock band and production team headed by singer/songwriter/producer, Alex Fitts. Fitts began his career in Cleveland, Ohio producing hip hop tracks for local artist and quickly built a reputation as a "go to" producer for emerging talent. His knack for blending hip hop and alt rock scored him production placements with Kid Cudi, 50 Cent, Kanye West and Slaughterhouse. As he sharpened his skills as a producer, his desire to write, produce and apply his talent to recording his own music grew even stronger.
In 2007, tired of the redundancy of the radio rotation, Fitts decided to delve deeper into his alt rock roots and along with his close friend and partner, Matt Pentilla, began experimenting with his love for electronic music. With their focus shifting, The Kickdrumsstarted distancing themselves from working with outside artists. Fitts would spend his days penning songs and unraveling chord progressions, while Pentilla would break down records and flip obscure samples on his drum machine. All the rules were thrown out the window and the end result was a mesh of alt rock, soul and hip hop that has proclaimed The Kickdrums as the premiere genre-bending band of this generation.
The Kickdrums have been well known amongst the blog elite for their release of cross-genre mixtapes that not only showed how in tune they are to emerging music but showcased the future of their sound. In 2009, he made his debut as an artist by releasing the critically acclaimed mixtape "Just A Game". Backed by brands like URB, Complex, Livemixtapes and Us versus Them, the band would go on to self-release two more albums, a series of festival mixtapes and run of singles leading to the 2011 official album debut, Meet Your Ghost, on Last Gang Records. Meet Your Ghost quickly earned a cult following with tracks featured in episodes of Chuck, Cougartown, Suits, Demoted, EA Games release, "SIMS3" and upcoming "coming of age" comedy, 21 and Over, from the directors of The Hang Over.
In the Spring of 2012, Fitts released another highly anticipated mixtape "Follow the Leaders". This latest installment greater exposed Fitts talent as an artist highlighted by features from some of hip hop's most buzzed about upcoming artist such as Rockie Fresh, Casey Veggies, MGK and Exquire. "Follow the Leaders" would go on to have two tracks reach number one on the HypeM charts and earn rave reviews from the top hip hop and indie music blogsites. The Kickdrums have surely grown into their distinctive sound and earning their space in the upper echelon of musicians dedicated to pushing creative boundaries.
Astronauts Really Fly
Philadelphia's own, The Astronauts Band, is stretching the musical mold and becoming a powerhouse through the arts. This band created of young, talented musicians is spearheaded by lead MC, Mont Brown whose vision was to create a musical force that heightened the limits of achievement. Alongside his band mates, Pace-O Beats (vocalist/producer), Andrew Meoray (vocalist/producer), Joey Stix (drummer), Art (saxophonist) and DJ Mike Lowry, they produce a unique sound that blurs the lines that separate punk rock and high energy hip hop.
"Astronauts Really Fly", as their brand, was a concept inspired from Guion Bluford Jr, a West Philadelphia native, that was the first African American to travel into space. Mont Brown was introduced to Pace-O Beats to collaborate on musical production and soon after, the elements began to take form. Each "astronaut" added to the band then on possessed a musical gift that took their production to new heights. In turn, Mont Brown ran with the inspiration from Bluford that anyone can do anything; the sky is no longer the limit.
Their musical chemistry draws crowds and excites fans as they perform every song with soul and over-the-top energy. ARF is raising the bar to outer space and expanding their brand to other forms of art. The band has launched a self-titled clothing line that is sold locally at The Villa locations. ARF also values community outreach and always finds time to give back. They're not just a band, but a movement on a mission. Watch them soar.