Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Music lovers might ask about punch cards

This week is filled with top national acts

Express Staff Writer

Apart they are Tom Shimura and Lateef Daumont (against the fence) who have reunited the act they created in college called Latyrx. Courtesy photo

    Kids who get the chance to go to college should take it, even if they don’t have a clue what they want to be when they grow up. College is often the place where great ideas are given the time to marinate and like minds can find each other.
    Such was the case with Lateef Daumont and Tom Shimura, aspiring musicians who met at the University of California at Davis nearly 14 years ago while involved in student radio and melded their progressive approach to alternative hip-hop. Lateef dropped his last name and added “the Truth Speaker” while Shimura became Lyrics Born. They helped launch the Solesides label and while working on independent projects with Fatboy Slim and Blackalicious (Lateef) and two solo albums on Quannum Projects (Lyrics), they formed Latyrx,
    The Bay Area duo, bassy and gruff Lyrics and higher-pitched Lateef, created their own rap and hip-hop sound that includes “tag-teaming” their lyrics, Lateef explained Friday, in the old style familiar to fans of Run DMC, Freestyle Fellowship and the Beastie Boys.
    “The stuff that we do on stage, very few can do it,” Lateef said. “It takes a high level of creativity, great visual storytelling.”
    The special twist is the addition of a drummer and a D.J. to their sets, lending an organic feel, he said.
    The innovative underground band is hitting the road with New Orleans funk-jazz band Galactic on its Freeze Out Tour, which makes a stop in Boise on its 11-show tour, and then at Ketchum’s Whiskey Jacques’ tonight, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m.
    It’s definitely dance music, and Lateef said it appeals to a wide demographic because of its topical nature as well as its adventurous, electronic-flavored specialization. This isn’t the typical misogynistic banter of some rap musicians, and in fact critics have called their song “Lady Don’t Tek No” one of the only “feminist-affirming club bangers in hip-hop history.”
    Their music can be sampled in various places online, from YouTube to Facebook, and you can  find them on Twitter and other social networking sites. Their latest collaboration is “Disconnection” and a second is due in the fall. They also were part of HITRECORD at the Movies, a unique film and music traveling showcase curated and hosted by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
    Lateef said that even though he’s enjoyed his solo time, and he was up for a Grammy for work with Fat Boy Slim, there’s something special about maturing with your best friend and developing your acumen over time spent.
    “Our personalities come through in the music,” he said. “We’ve both grown and expanded as artists both here and abroad, but we still have a chemistry that is pretty unique. If you want to have a good time and see something unique that you probably haven’t seen before, you should come out. We can’t wait to come to Ketchum.”
    So you won’t embarrass yourself at the box office, it’s pronounced “La-tear” (like you cry) “-icks.”
Not the staid kind
of congress
    With Scott Lane on guitar, Mark Levy on drums and Jonathan Meadows on bass and vox, The Congress brings—as Lane promised—a rock ‘n’ roll party mixed in with moments of introspective self-discovery when the band comes to Whiskey’s at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23.
    Lane and Meadows provide the deep, descriptive rock ‘n’ roll poetry based on life and friends from their hometown of Richmond, Va.
     Asked what a canvas painted to explain their sound to a deaf person would reveal, Lane offered, “a group of friends sitting around a record player in a wood-paneled basement, some listening and some drinking beers and partying. And, somewhere in the painting, unicorns shooting laser beams from their horns.”
    Take a $5 bill and a chance and you most likely won’t be disappointed.
Turn up the heat
    Back again this year is the Reverend Horton Heat, for a religious experience of the psychobilly kind. Last time Heat’s band played Whiskey’s, it served up a night of sheer irreverence and shouts of “God bless Texas.”
    Their sound is self-described as “country-fed punkabilly,” while some of their songs are called “psychobilly,” which is why their music requires a variety of genres to explain. It’s a mix of country, punk, big band, swing and rockabilly, all loud, energetic and riddled with lyrics that will make you laugh out loud.
    The band takes over on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 at Whiskey Jacques’.
    Heat is bringing some new songs from his latest, “The Reverend Horton Heat: 25 to Life,” and tributes to the 1950s and ’60s with tunes about bad habits, low flying planes, big sky and martinis, and of course, award-winning beer guts and Texas.

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