Music

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

WATCH: Everybody's Loving the Groovy New Blame the Youth Video

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 6:01 PM

Yeah, OK, so we're a little late with this one: Charlotte's Blame the Youth released their first-ever video last week for the combined songs "P.O.T.K./ABACA," from their 2016 EP The Hourglass. And we're finally getting it up for you right here on the "Vibes" blog.

Let's see now: What can we Blame the Youth for? We can blame them for making great new music. We can blame them for shaking up the Charlotte scene. Heck, we can blame them for those kick-ass election results last night that put so many young people on city council. Best of all, we can blame them for this new clip.

Blame the Youth, featured on the cover CL's August 23 Pride issue as well as a recent episode of our "Local Vibes" podcast, not only mesmerize on stage, they do good camera, too. Now, y'all enjoy this, hear?

Directed by Alexander, this video is A Grandiloquent Devise/RedBear Spirit Production. It was filmed at Camp North End in Charlotte. Listen to The Hourglass EP below or at Spotify or Pandora, then go purchase it at Bandcamp, Apple Music, Google Play, or Beats Music.


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Friday, October 27, 2017

VIDEO PREMIERE: Charlotte's Th3 Higher Share "Lessons" in Their New #1SongAWeekChallenge

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Charlotte rap duo Th3 Higher have released a video centering on the life lessons the two have learned, not just as musicians, but as friends and fellow human beings, during their time together honing their craft from their teens to early adulthood. Produced by Shane Hush, the video for "Lessons" — which begins with the words "The woke must free the sleep" and "The conscious must enlighten" —  is part of the group's #1SongAWeekChallenge, in which they have released one song on Soundcloud each week for the past six weeks, and are currently at Song No. 11. "Lessons" was the first in the Soundcloud challenge, and this clip is the first video the group has released for the series.
"This song is a culmination of everything that we've learned over the years," says Th3 Higher's Tizzy Farragami, "and the video is the first of many [to come]. It symbolizes the time and effort we've put into developing our craft. We feel as though we've put in the hours, and now it's time to start harvesting the fruits of our labor."

Shot at a secret wooded area of Charlotte by @AntxShotit, and directed by @AntxShotit and Buddha the Shoota, the setting plays up the duo's nature-based worldview. In it, Tizzy wears an ankh — the ancient Egyptian symbol for life — around his neck as he and his cohort Kizzy slash their way through the woods with a sword.

"We know our time is coming and with this video we plan to take advantage of every resource in our network to reach our goals," Tizzy says. "Once we hit 50K [views], Part 2 comes."

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Monday, October 9, 2017

VIDEO: SunQueen Kelcey Says Recent Unrest is Why Now is the Right Time for a Black Alternative Music Festival in Charlotte

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Greensboro-based SunQueen Kelcey, the front woman of SunQueen Kelcey and the Soular Flares, tells why she believes Charlotte is the right city for North Carolina's first black alternative music festival.

But first, watch Kelcey perform a solo version of her song "Thick Girls Do It Better."


Creative Loafing: Why do you think Bla/Alt is so important right here and right now?
This is the first festival in Charlotte created by a local black alternative musician just for the black arts and music scene. It will show the true variety of talent in the black community, making sure that people know that you cannot put black culture in one box. Black culture spans across many avenues including the social. political, musical, scientific and artistic realms.

Why are you and the Soular Flares playing it?
We are performing to be a part of such a groundbreaking movement. We are based in Greensboro, but we love the Charlotte music Scene. It's always so welcoming and feels like home to us. Given the recent unfortunate events that have occurred in Charlotte, it is everyone's duty to participate in something that uplifts and empowers the people of marginalized and oppressed communities in any way we can.

What are your hopes for the festival?
We want it to extinguish and overcome the negative stereotypes of what society deems as "black culture." In turn, this will provide a safe space for anyone to attend the festival for free and for black/POC artists and business owners to showcase their art, and network and sell their products to the public.

Hit up SunQueen on Instagram and Twitter (@sunqueenkelcey) and Facebook (SunQueen Kelcey).

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

VIDEO: Chócala Brings a Latin Tinge to Charlotte's BLA/ALT Black Alternative Rock Fest on Oct. 21

Posted By on Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Chócala talks about the importance of bringing a Latin tinge to the black alternative rock fest in Charlotte.

But first, watch this live clip of Chócala performing "Rompecabezas."


"We're playing the festival because we believe in the organizers, artists and the values that BLA/ALT stands for," singer Liza Ortiz says. "If we hadn't been asked to join, we would have been attending and supporting anyways. The fact that we're performing is icing on the cake for us. It's also an honor for us to represent the Alt.Latino music genre."

To Chócala, whose members are also involved in expanding the Charlotte audience for Latino musical fusions, BLA/ALT represents the city's changing demographics in a way that directly combats bigotry in the larger world of divisive politics. "We think BLA/ALT is important because it enriches Charlotte's cultural landscape by showcasing everything this city's PoC artists and bands have to offer," Ortiz says. "We're excited because we're seeing independent artists and creators of several different cultures coming together and supporting each other in the music and arts community as a whole in Charlotte, which is invaluable given the current political climate. BLA/ALT is a culmination of all the growth, support and positive energy that LeAnna [Eden, BLA/ALT's organizer] has been able to focus into an entire festival. We think it's amazing."

Like other artists performing at the festival Ortiz says she hopes this will be the first of many BLA/ALT festivals to come over the next several years. "We want to see it grow," Ortiz says. "It would be fantastic to see events like this happen around the state and region. Afropunk only happens in New York and Atlanta, and there is a whole coast of states with independent black and other PoC musicians and artists that deserve being put on blast."

Follow Chócala — which also includes Ortiz's brother Claudio, as well as Michael Anderson and Davey Blackburn on both Instagram and Facebook: @chocalamusic






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Saturday, October 7, 2017

VIDEO PREMIERE: Cuzco Releases New Video Exclusively at 'CL' Vibes

Posted By on Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 5:59 PM

Just before the final song of Cuzco's set Friday night at Snug Harbor, the band did what it had announced it would do: played the brand-new video for its song "Those Are Z's," from the band's 5-song EP A Medicine for Melancholy, released earlier this year. And just as Creative Loafing promised we'd do earlier this week, we're premiering the video exclusively here on the Vibes blog.


The video — directed by Mark Borja, Jake Rothwell and Tori Silinski — is a gentle and serene meditation on nature, melancholy and love set to Will Schoonmaker and Arman Serdarevic's delicate and precise guitar interplay, which often conjures the early-1980s progressive work of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp. As the musical and visual narrative unfolds, a love story emerges, and Cuzco's unconventional shifts in tempo follow the story's sometimes jarring twists and turns.

But the transitions flow smoothly and naturally, thanks to the spare yet complex playing of Cuzco's rhythm section, drummer Dylan Robbins and bassist Matt McConomy. And then there are sweet, aching brush strokes of saxophone, from sax player Kevin Washburn, driving home the sense of melancholy at the heart of Cuzco's sound.

Books and balloons serve as signposts in the video's narrative — and as part of the band's performance on stage at Snug Harbor Friday night.

"The atmosphere [at the show] was awesome —  we decked the place in purple balloons," Schoonmaker says. "Before our last song we premiered the video and everyone seemed to love it. It was a magical night and playing Snug is always a medicine to our melancholy."

Washburn, Schoonmaker and Serdarevic get intense at Snug Harbor on Friday. (Photo by Savannah Woodell)
  • Washburn, Schoonmaker and Serdarevic get intense at Snug Harbor on Friday. (Photo by Savannah Woodell)

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VIDEO: Favelas Talk About the Importance of a Black Alternative Rock Fest in Charlotte

Posted By on Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Favelas tell us why a black alternative rock fest in Charlotte is essential.

But first, watch this clip of Favelas doing their song "Weedman."


"BLA/ALT is important to Favelas because we know the importance of making sure that everyone’s voice is heard," the band says.

"It’s imperative that artists get to properly express themselves in an environment like the one that’s been created here, especially for artists of color. We’re more than hopeful that this is the start of something revolutionary in our hometown."

Don't miss Favelas at BLA/ALT on Oct. 21. You can connect with the band on Instagram (@favelasoffical) or Facebook (Favelas Band).


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Thursday, October 5, 2017

AUDIO: Lofidels' Lenny Muckle Tells Why He Signed Up For Charlotte's "Unprecedented" Oct. 21 BLA/ALT Black Alternative Rock Fest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Lenny Muckle, the sole member of the punk/art project Lofidels, talks about what a black alternative rock fest in Charlotte means to him.

But first, listen to the terrific track "A Staccato Kid, A Missing Man," from Lofidels' 2016 album Glass Canon.


"I feel that the BLA/ALT Music Festival will be a place where artists of color will be able to shine without having to conform to, ironically, norms and requirements tacitly imposed on them for falling within the framework of being independent artists," Muckle says.

"I'm playing BLA/ALT because I want to be part of this new, local, unprecedented event," he says. "The lifting up of typically overlooked work is something we unarguably need more of. It'll be exciting to be part of [the festival] as an artist and as a fan, because the line-up is so wildly varied. My hope is that it's all a bit overwhelming."

What's more, Muckle adds, "I hope that as BLA/ALT grows, year after year, the festival manages to not only awe, but inspire — friends and strangers, former and would-be artists could all feel motivated by the uniqueness of the artists involved with the festival.

"My name is Lenny Muckle, sole member of the project called Lofidels, and I'll be performing at Bla/Alt."

And we'll be there watching Lenny Muckle, as well as following him on Bandcamp (lofidels.bandcamp.com) and Instagram (@lofidels).

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

VIDEO: Nige Hood Tells Why He's Playing BLA/ALT on Oct. 21

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 2:14 PM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Nige Hood of Nige Hood & the Folk Rap Band, fills us in on the importance of the festival.

But first, watch this clip for the song "McLuven," from Hood and the Charlotte band Blu House, another act scheduled to play at BLA/ALT.


"BLA/ALT is a milestone of many years of hard work and effort, not only for LeAnna Eden, its creator, but also for the hundreds of thousands of young 'Black Alternatives' in this city," Hood says. "BLA/ALT is helping us redefine to the world what is art, what is American and very much what is human."

As for Hood, "I am playing BLA/ALT because this is an opportunity to promote what myself and my friends have been doing all our lives. We've always been eager creators, determined not to be boxed in by society's assumptions."

Hit up Nige Hood on Twitter:  @NiGEHOOD. And follow BLA/ALT for more info on the fest: @bla_altCLT

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Stately Rhiannon Giddens Captivates Charlotte With Her Music and Storytelling

Posted By on Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 9:51 AM

Rhiannon Giddens
Neighborhood Theatre
Sept. 30, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens doesn't just perform, she lives and breathes the music. She brings a personal energy to every word she sings or note she plucks, and she sang and plucked many from her terrific new album, Freedom Highway, with its powerful and much-needed messages for today's Charlotte, North Carolina and United States of America. The Carolina Chocolate Drops front woman's vocals are stunning and full of life. Her storytelling is captivating. For two sets at the Neighborhood Theatre, Giddens enthralled everyone in attendance. And just as Giddens told the crowd she was happy to be back in North Carolina, it was clear her fans were thrilled she was back in Charlotte.


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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lute's Dreamville debut, West 1996 Pt. 2, due on Friday

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 7:52 PM

Nearly two years ago, Charlotte rapper Lute announced he had signed with J. Cole's Dreamville label. His debut album for the label, the long-awaited West 1996 Pt. 2, is finally set for release this Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

It's a big moment for the 28-year-old rapper, born Luther Nicholson, who was on the verge of leaving the music industry just before he got signed. The father of a newborn, Lute's priorities had changed and he knew he had to do right by his daughter and hold down a day job. He was on the verge of releasing an album that was going to be his farewell to the rap game when a 2 a.m. phone call from J. Cole changed his world.

Instead of saying goodbye, he's waited two years to say, "I'm back." The story is told in a short documentary, Lute: Still Slummin', that was released last week. The film lets Lute tell the story of his signing and gives insight into his home life.


Since his signing, he's been on tour with Cole and was featured on 2015's Revenge of the Dreamers 2 album, but this is the moment fans, and Lute himself, have been waiting for.

We've been expecting big things from Lute ever since his debut mixtape, West 1996, put him and his crew, Forever FC, on the map. The talented lyricist with the old-school flow earned a Creative Loafing Best of Staff Pick award for Best Local Rapper back in 2012. We've been looking forward to the new release for quite some time and can't wait to see what's in store for his burgeoning career.

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