Lyrics Born

Amongst the dusty records of UC Davis's KDVS radio station, Tom Shimura (aka Lyrics Born) found too much to love. Sandwiched between gatefold LPs, 12-inch singles, dub versions and white-labels was a reservoir of inspiration. That was then. This is now. Since his college days, Bay Area-native Lyrics Born's raw, authentic talent has been polished to a gleaming beacon of originality in a time when it's needed most, and it's release marks a new era of label relations. "The old model is dead, you can't just put it out and expect people to get it," explains LB, and the statement could easily be applied to his sound or his approach to marketing the finished product.

One defining characteristic of LB's sound thus far has been that it can be described as unequivocally fun. However, he does routinely peel back the gregarious exterior to reveal a contemplative everyman, and it's times like this that his true artistry is apparent. "It's at the point in my career where I've been through a lot, fun and not so fun. I think I'm dealing with a lot of issues that from abandonment to betrayal to incredible joy."

Lyrics Born had been a music obsessive since his youth, and in 1993 freestyles among a group of UC Davis classmates that occupied the same cramped radio quarters began to find their way onto paper, and suddenly LB had written "Send Them." It became the first single on the newly-minted Solesides Records, a collaborative venture between himself and his accomplices who would later go on to be known internationally as Blackalicious (comprised of MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel), DJ Shadow and Lateef The Truthspeaker, an East Oakland rapper with whom he found a shared affinity for the rapid-fire lyrical volleys that would define the next step. As Latyrx (a combination of their working names) the two MCs released "The Album" in 1997. The LP would go on to become a certified classic, selling 100,000 copies, yet would prove to be the tip of an even larger iceberg.

Solesides was re-imagined as Quannum Projects in 1999. As co-owner, LB used Quannum as a conduit through which he delivered his most realized project yet, 2003's "Later That Day." The album yielded his biggest commercial success to date, "Callin' Out," which charted nationally and was featured in several major motion pictures, EA Sports games as well as a Diet Coke spot featuring Adrian Brody. The remix LP, "Same !@#$ Different Day," was released shortly after, showcasing the talents of his closest associates and as well as new material. Meanwhile, Lyrics Born began to explore different means of engaging listeners. He kept fans abreast of his work by peppering the internet with The Lyrics Born Variety Show mixtape series which he released himself through his website. The mixtapes, as well as ceaseless touring and the creation of his own internet media outlets Lyrics Born TV and LBFM, were elements of a new formula.

Since the release of "Later That Day," Lyrics Born has averaged more than 150 shows a year, and his explosive live energy was captured on the disc "Overnite Encore," a compilation of live performances with musicians from the Australian leg of his 2006 world tour. He followed up in 2008 with "Everywhere At Once," a varied studio disk that signaled a departure from the sample-based pieces he had become known for, supplementing the sound with a full band and a healthy does of synthesizers. His 2010 release "As U Were" features a synth-oriented sound and guest appearances by Trackademicks, Francis and The Lights and Sam Sparro, along with Gift of Gab and Lateef. Lyrics Born recently finished work on his newest album "Real People," due for release in 2014.

LB has arrived at a well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. Tom Shimura hasn't forgotten how he got here, but he's never been afraid to look to the future, either.

Skins & Needles

Skins & Needles is a duo made up of Dj Zeph (Om Records, Oakland Faders) and Max MacVeety (drummer for Crown City Rockers). Both staples in the Bay Area Hip-Hop scene, this duo joins forces to bring a club-party vibe with the use of live drums, breaks, scratching + mixing that keeps the dance floor moving. With live drums and Dj Zeph's musicality, Skins & Needles catches the attention of musicians, producers, and Hip-Hop heads as well as people just wanting to party and dance.

Music is the Mixer feat. MC Radio Active

Originating from Boston, MA, Radio Active embodies the essence of hip hop. He is an emcee, beatboxer, writer, painter, and b-boy. He plays musical instruments, incorporates electronic beats with his beatbox and commands active audience participation during his fresh, soulful original live performances.
Innovative to the industry, Radio Active brings hip hop into other genres, a true crossover artist. An electrifying performer, Radio Active has toured extensively the past years throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan as a member of the politically charged musical group Michael Franti & Spearhead to audiences in theaters and festivals upwards of 100,000 people and appearing on national television programs such as David Letterman, Craig Kilborne and on MTV with the critically acclaimed single/video "Rock The Nation." Along the years, he's shared the stage with artists such as Ani DiFranco, Common, Indigo Girls, KRS-One, String Cheese Incident, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, O.A.R., Karl Denson, Ben Harper, Keller Williams, Trey Anastasio, Jeru The Damaja, DJ Apollo,Keaton Simons, Trevor Hall, Tyrone Wells, Pat Mcgee, Jonah Sharp and Meshell N'Degeocello.
As featured in the ..ary films, "Breath Control" and "Freestyle, The Art Of Rhyme," Radio Active has made a worldwide impact in this genre of beatboxing; the art of vocal percussion. This skill has translated into a new industry as a voice talent and you can hear Radio Active as announcer on two very popular video games, "Dance, Dance Revolution" and "Dance, Dance Revolution 2" as well as game announcer for the NBA's Golden State Warriors on Fox Sports.

Jessica Rose was born in Maui, Hawaii, eventually moving to Phoenix, Arizona, where she graduated from high school. In 2003, she moved to Portland, Oregon, and attended Marylhurst University, eventually graduating with a Bachelors of Music Therapy degree and a Certificate in Flute Performance in 2008. As a flutist, Jessica has toured with festival orchestras and performed as a soloist since the age of 16, and studied privately with Beth McGraw in Arizona and with Lee Ann Sterling while at Marylhurst. While in Portland, Jessica was a member of the band B JAC W, co-fronting with Nat Buttrick of Public Groovement and sharing the stage with other members of the band such as Steve James (Jerry Joseph and the Jack Mormons), and Paul Ater & Howard Clarke (Afrodesiacs). B JAC W performed at private parties and festivals (Family Reunion 2004) and at local venues in Portland (Lola's Room) before disbanding in 2005. Upon going solo, Jessica Rose has performed at weddings, private parties, festivals (Spiral Rhythms 2006 & 2007, Lavendar at Stonegate 2006 & 2007), open mics, and other miscellaneous events and venues around Portland, Santa Cruz, San Francisco/Bay Area, Mendocino County, and her residence in Petaluma/North Bay. Most recently, she has shared the stage/bill with world-class artists such RadioActive, NIAYH, 1,000 Fuegos, & Worth + Bondy.

$12.00 - $18.00

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