Westword Music Showcase, Diplo, 2 Chainz

Westword Music Showcase

Westword Music Showcase, presented by Coors Light, is back on June 20 and bigger and better than ever. This year’s lineup features national acts such as Flume, The Black Angels and MisterWives and 100 of your favorite local artists on 12 stages.

You read it right: One day. 12 stages. 100 local bands and some of the hottest national talent you'll see this year. Get your tickets now for Saturday, June 20 in the Golden Triangle neighborhood for music, great local vendors, food and libations!

Known internationally as a curator amongst the world's most cutting edge DJs, producers, and musical movements Wesley Pentz (better known as DIPLO) has experienced a variety of successes. The last few years have been spent running through the club circuit and having chart-topping hits with refreshing irreverence. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1978, Pentz spent most his childhood in Florida working in his fathers bait shop and being turned onto music through then new mediums like MTV. Drifting North through the state came Miami Bass and from the West came the sounds of Southern hip-hop artists. The musical influence and variety coalesced, and at 18, Pentz moved to Philadelphia for college at Temple University to study Film & Music. While a student he took a job in the South Philadephia community as a social worker and created the influential Hollertronix club night, which was the beginning of his fledgling career as DIPLO.

In 2004 Pentz released his debut album as Diplo called, Florida. It received praise and accolades in the underground community. The music embodied on this album led to an introduction via an A&R man at XL Records to M.I.A. In 2004 he partnered with M.I.A. for the mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism. Pentz's cultural impact had started to snowball. Together they worked on her first album Arular and much of her second Kala, including the 2008 mega-hit "Paper Planes," which reached No. 3 in the US Charts and earned him a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. His production credits have evolved since to include Santigold, Lil' Jon and Missy Elliot, while remixing works by Beck, Radiohead, Britney Spears and countless others. In 2009 Pentz teamed with frequent collaborator Dave Taylor (aka Switch) to release the futuristic dancehall album Guns Don't Kill People… Lazers Do under the guise of Major Lazer, a Jamaican militant at war with an evil army of zombies, mummies and vampires.

Meanwhile, his record label Mad Decent has helped to introduce Brazilian baile funk, Angolan Kuduro and other marginalized music to clubs around the world, developing as a trendsetting force with which to be reckoned. With the same mission in mind, some of the varied acts Pentz has signed or produced include Rye Rye, Bonde do Role, Crookers, Blaqstarr, Boy 8-Bit, Buraka Som Systema, and Rusko, allowing Mad Decent to act as a launching pad or home base for many others while spreading its influence across the globe. Through the label, Pentz has founded a charity called Heaps Decent as a social relief program to help children in Australia as well as with additional efforts internationally. In early 2009 Pentz debuted his film Favela on Blast, a five-years-in-the-making documentary exploring the Brazilian slum favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the thriving baile funk music scene that exists within. He is currently developing a TV show.

Through a widespread assortment of releases and artists' works – from cumbia to dubstep to punk and beyond – Diplo has shown dynamic range with interests that span far beyond any singular culture or musical realm, standing as a working model for the truly 21st Century artist.

With a reputation for one-upping the competition by arriving via helicopter at rooftop listening parties for his own T.R.U. (The Real University) imprint, and the kind of grandiose ambition that a rapper from southside Atlanta needs to chase down the American Dream, 2Chainz officially launches his solo career as the newest signing to Def Jam Recordings. 2Chainz was brought to the label through Sha Money XL, Senior Vice President of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group.

"We are proud to welcome 2 Chainz to the Def Jam tradition and family of artists," said Island Def Jam President & COO Steve Bartels. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for the incredible buzz 2 Chainz has built, and it's our job to nurture and protect that. 2 Chainz has a credibility and flavor that is uniquely suited to the Def Jam lifestyle and brand. We look forward to great success together."

The signing was celebrated with a performance at downtown New York hotspot S.O.B.'s, billed as 2Chainz' first N.Y. concert. "2Chainz is a veteran who chooses being catchy over being cool," raved the New York Times the next morning. "He's an inadvertent humorist, and awe and wonderment often sneak into his verses, as if he's still surprised by every blessing his new success affords him. You hear it on his recent work with Rick Ross ('Party Heart') and Young Jeezy ('SupaFreak'), among others."

Currently mining digital downloads in the millions for T.R.U. REALigion, his latest indie mixtape sensation (released November 2011), 2Chainz is winning new fans every hour. His 'hit' tracks – signatures that include "Riot," "Boo" featuring Yo Gotti, and the Drumma Boy-produced smash single "Spend It," have helped establish a new sphere of influence for the lanky, outspoken rapper.

"I think the world is catching up to me," he reflects in a rare moment of calm, in an otherwise hectic life. "I've always been confident in what I do and had the respect of the people."

2Chainz is a product of the competitive Atlanta scene that spawned his first group, the duo Playaz Circle (in which he was known as Tity Boi). They made their mark back in '07 with the rap-R&B-pop crossover hit "Duffle Bag Boy" featuring Lil' Wayne on the hook, on the DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace)/Def Jam label. College Park native Tity Boi was a lifelong friend of Chris Bridges, aka DTP CEO/Def Jam recording artist Ludacris. But the time would come when 2Chainz would fly from the DTP nest to make it on his own.

His first step toward independence was the 2007 mixtape, Me Against The World. Proving that he could stand on his own, he vowed to "turn up" in 2009. He did exactly that with the double-disc mixtape All Ice On Me, followed by his two-part Trapavelli series. Both had cameos from the likes of fellow underground kings Bun B and Gucci Mane, as well as his 2009 street hit "Stupid" and the surprise 2010 radio smash "Boo."

Proving that he could write street anthems with crossover appeal, he capitalized on his notoriety with the back-to-back mixtape releases of Codeine Withdrawal in 2010, and Codeine Cowboy in 2011. (The graphic 25-minute Codeine Cowboy documentary film has logged over 276,000 YouTube views to date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3Lvc9eYMOE). By now, the 2Chainz buzz had reached a fever pitch with the likes of Busta Rhymes, Young Jeezy and Pusha T jumping at the chance to join what he likes to call his "campaign."

"It's The Real University, Two Gun Gang, Street Executives," 2Chainz recently told XXL. "It's not DTP no more. I'm actually behind [Ludacris], he's still my homie. I just took another route as far as running my own company and bossing up. But on the other hand, I'm still working with him. He has an album coming out this year, as well. Matter of fact, we are label mates, now, which is crazy. So, yeah, that'll be cool. I'm looking forward to that."

Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber take their fun very, very seriously. The pair behind the ambitious and emphatic Nashville duo Cherub craft hooky electro-pop that lyrically captures the risque, pleasure-seeking impulses of their youth, while their studio expertise results in grooves so alluring, even your parents can dance to them. Which is their exact goal on Antipasto EP, the precursor to their highly anticipated Year of the Caprese debut LP.
Kelley explains, "it's just the coolest thing if you can have different generations dancing to the same song." Cherub doesn't just commingle age groups. Huber and Kelley's musicianship and imagination allows them to create their own ideas about style and music rather than abiding to genre. Featuring the viral hit "Doses and Mimosas," two new songs and a Knocks remix, the four-track set serves as the boldest alignment of their diverse musical interests yet, ranging from brash rock to playful pop to seductive R&B.
The duo met while pursuing music business degrees at Middle Tennessee State, a large public university just outside of Nashville. Prior to meeting up at a dorm party, the two were figuring out how to become their own local legends. Huber was fronting a psychedelic folk-rock band, whereas Kelley was something of a mainstay in the Nashville hip-hop scene. Well, sort of. "I was making beats for this hip-hop duo and we got to open for GZA, but I didn't know how to DJ my own stuff." After meeting Huber, "I just asked 'can you turn my beats into a live show?'" Soon thereafter, Kelley sent Huber his self-composed Man of the Hour EP and the two realized the potential in their partnership. Cherub began in earnest, with Huber's live production embellishing Kelley's clever songcraft.
Kelley's lyrics of relatable hedonism come from everyday experiences - "nonsense on my iPhone notepad," zoning out during long plane rides or meeting a local yahoo who got an unintentional writing credit on "Doses and Mimosas."
"We were buying champagne in the Beachside Liquor Store in Gulf Shores, Alabama and there was this dude in his mid-40's behind the counter. I'll never forget what he said, 'I remember the days of 'pagne and caine!'" It became the indelible, call-and-response hook from "Doses and Mimosas," their breakthrough smash from the self-released MoM & DaD which was #1 on HypeMachine's "most talked about" chart in August of 2012.
The release of MoM & DaD was a part of a huge year for Cherub, as they were named one of "12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen To Now" by Paste and landed spots at Bonnaroo, SXSW, Electric Forest and the Snowball Music Fest. These experiences have allowed Cherub to learn on the job and tailor their songwriting for the benefit of their sweaty, packed crowds. Taking inspiration from formative live experiences ranging from Incubus to Sigur Ros, Kelley
ensures that "we have theatrical elements that don't detract from the music. When we see the crowd respond to an uptempo song, that gets us going." Their momentum continued into 2013 with the self-release of the 100 Bottles EP and its infectious lead single "Jazzercise '95." The duo continued to book more ambitious gigs, including Lollapalooza, Governor's Ball, Austin City Limits and their first tour throughout Europe and the UK.
Cherub aren't much for tags, but if you want to get an idea of what Antipasto brings to the party, just ask them who they'd like to collaborate with. Kelley's dream would be a duet with "Roger Troutman [R.I.P.], super funky but with no vocals, just talkbox. We'd also want to do an epic, super crazy R&B joint with The-Dream." Therein lies the alchemy of "Lifesaver" and "Tonight," where playful guitar licks meld with deep bass and lush synthesizers. But they also grew up idolizing rock auteurs such as David Bowie and Trent Reznor, and you sense their influence in Cherub's knack for dynamics and solid, singalong melodies. Cherub always remain curious and ambitious - "I want to do a duet with Mariah Carey, but then pitch down her vocals. No one's ever done that before!"
But above all else, Cherub are men of the people, dudes of the dancefloor, aficionados of the after hours. From the countless house parties they've played in Tennessee to their Age of Reason tour with Gramatik to their prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheater gig with STS9, they've always made it a point to engage with their fans. "People always think it's weird when we ask during the show if there's an after party," Kelley says with a laugh. Antipasto starts the party, what happens from there on out is anyone's guess.

Man Man is a fearlessly unique band from Philadelphia. The group's fifth full length album On Oni Pond features an arresting reconstruction of the group's visionary sound – stripped to its core and rebuilt as something new and compelling yet still very much Man Man. This marked shift is a direct result of an intensive collaboration between the band's frontman, Honus Honus, and drummer Pow Pow, who has assumed a new-found prominence in the songwriting process, bringing an exhilarating array of new rhythmic ideas to the mix. "With this album we got to do something that very few bands or creative people get to do which is a reboot, and one that feels natural," comments Honus Honus.

In a review of a track called "Head On," Pitchfork writes that Man Man "have taken their licks and endured, evolving from their excitable and divisive Beefheart/Zappa-influenced early work into rich and resonant piano pop that values populism over provocation."

The compositions on the new album were honed by the band members along with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit) into a compelling mash-up of Fear Of Music era Talking Heads, classic soul, psychedelia, hip hop, and 50's rock and roll. With its imaginative yet economical rhythms, huge hooks, and overriding sense of urgency, On Oni Pond melds these seemingly disparate influences into an unexpectedly lush, melodic album, exquisitely consolidated by the band's unique and affecting vision.

"This is a strange and beautiful record but it's also head on and fearless," says Honus Honus. "It's not a record that's going to flirt with you, this is a record that's asking you out. If you get into bed with us there's going to be a relationship."

Man Man's latest also expresses Honus Honus' evolution as a lyricist. Consistently inventive, the lyrics now have a new poignancy and insight that makes this album as personal and reflective as it is joyous. The thematic centerpiece of the record is the bittersweet, deconstructed soul anthem "Head On." Simultaneously melancholy and inspiring, the track features a unique take on personal resilience exemplified by the lines, "Are you dreaming of death? Are there ghosts in your chest?" and "I need new skin for this old skeleton of mine 'cause this one that I'm in has let me down once again over time," which build into the refrain "Hold onto your heart, hold it high above flood waters, hold onto your heart, never let nobody drag it under."

With On Oni Pond, Man Man has delivered a beautifully weird and unforgettable collection of songs. From the pounding syncopated drumming, psychedelic organ and impassioned crooning of "Pink Wonton" to the sneering new wave dub of "King Shiv" and the big beat bratty swagger of "Loot My Body," this is an undeniably ambitious band reborn to new, focused greatness.

King Khan & the Shrines

It has been a lengthy hiatus, but we have finally finished our latest "masterpiece" and named it after an incredible indigenous-rights movement that is happening right now called Idle No More.

I was born and raised in Montreal and spent a lot of time on the Kahnawake Mohawk Indian reservation. Much of my juvenile delinquent training came from years of tripping out there with my best friends.

I began the Shrines in 1999 with the blessings from my brothers in The Spaceshits, right after we disbanded. The dream was to make something reminiscent of Sun Ra, James Brown, and Otis Redding with a hint of The Velvet Underground, Love, The Monks and about a million other influences that riddled my LSD-soaked brain at the tender age of 22.

The Shrines was my pirate ship and we sailed many a turbulent sea, spreading our music "like peanut butter" all over the world. We celebrated our cult "underground" status and became the kings we are through word of mouth and by making an "aural eyegasm" that has often been called the "wildest show on earth."

Idle No More is probably the most refined piece of music we have made to date. The songs are about the state of the world we live in today.

"Born to Die" is an apocalyptic ode to the heinous war machine that to this day ruins our lives.

"Bite My Tongue" is about the unsung heroes who are forced to live in utter poverty but who have made all the revolutions possible and are being silenced as you read this. Look up "The Invaders" from Memphis and you will see what I am talking about. http://www.prichardsmith.com/portfolio/the-invaders/

"Thorn in Her Pride" is a girl-power anthem and a celebration of the goddesses who help raise the children of the revolution.

"Luckiest Man" is about me and how lucky I was to receive the proper mental care I needed during a very steep and lengthy plummet into madness.

"Better Luck Next Time" is velvety pop to soothe the ears.

"Darkness" is about the ugly beasts that must be tamed inside of us all. It was also my attempt to do something as real as Nina Simone.

"Pray for Lil" is an ode to my wife, who continually saves my life and makes me a complete human being, human doing, and human going.

"Bad Boy" is a requiem for Bobby Ubangi, who was and still is Atlanta's Finest.

"So Wild" is a double requiem for two other Jays I have lost over the last few years, Jay Reatard and Jay "Berserker" Montour. RIP.

"Yes I Can't" is a little ironic number named after Obama's attempt at changing the police state.

"I Got Made" is a Joe Pesci trip heavily inspired by the Cosa Nostra.

And last, but not least, is "Of Madness I Dream," a mirror image of what is happening to the world as we speak.

Originally, I was going to call the album Of Madness I Dream, but then I became very enthused about the amazing work of the Idle No More movement. Everyone I asked had never heard of it, so I contacted the leaders of the movement and, with their permission, decided to rename the album Idle No More in hopes that it would increase the world's awareness of this miracle that is taking place for the indigenous peoples of the world. If you are not familiar with Idle No More, look it up and GET INVOLVED!

It took a long time to make, but we are very proud and pleased to bring you this album. I hope that the future will brighten up every time it is played. Ultimately, John and Yoko were absolutely right: LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED!

Peace and Love,

King Bama Lama Khan Emperor of RnB

Claymore Disco

Claymore Disco was created in April of 2011 when Garret Myers, Bart Williams, and Ethan Mills were united by fate. Since then the band has been writing catchy dance/rock songs, playing shows across america and forcing people to dance with their infectious songs that are guaranteed to stick in your head...but you will love it.

Their sound is a unique blend of Dance music with Alternative Rock mixtures and pop elements. Using heavy guitar riffs, powerful synth leads, punchy bass lines with fun and danceable drum beats, Claymore Disco creates a recipe of music that is guaranteed to get your dancing and having a good time.

$40 - $100

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