Bizarre Ride Live | Welcome to Dillaville | El Rey Theatre | 5/12/14

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Following Slum Village’s tribute set to J Dilla, FatLip and SlimKid3 (two of the original members of the essential hip-hop group The Pharcyde), J-Swift and K-Natural performed cuts from Pharcyde’s seminal album, “Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.” I had already seen Bizarre Ride Live (what the band calls the performance) last year; in fact it was one of the first topics I blogged about when I started writing this blog, but I was still geeked to be seeing “Ya Mama”, “Oh, Shit”, “Otha Fish, “Soulflower”, and my personal favorite, “Passin’ Me By” (clips of some of the tracks are in the video below) performed live again.

Pharcyde’s relationship to Dilla runs deep. At one point, Dilla was even the group’s DJ. Dilla helmed the majority of production duties for The Pharcyde’s sophomore album, “Labcabincalifornia”, producing the hit single “Runnin’,” which peaked at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Though I wished that all of the original members were performing the hip-hop tracks I listened to all throughout high school, there was absolutely no reason to complain. Each of J-Swift and K-Natural admirably performed the verses originally recorded by Imani and Bootie Brown. Fittingly, they concluded their set with a performance of “Runnin'”.

I don’t have a setlist to the songs that were performed that evening, but all you you have to do is listen to the album, and that’s all you need to know.

Music Treasure: Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde

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I had purchased a ticket to see a show at The Roxy on December 29th, 2012 that was titled “Bizarre Ride Live” at the suggestion of a friend.  He told me that it was a performance of The Pharcyde’s “Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde” by two of the original members (Phatlip and Slim Kid 3) and others.

Earlier in the day, on a whim, I decided to check out a record shop that I hadn’t been too before in West Los Angeles called Touch Vinyl.  As I was flipping through the racks, I stumbled across a limited edition, colored vinyl set  of the album that I had intended to see performed live later in the evening.

It seemed that fate was calling, so without hesitating, I decided to purchase the LPs.

Feeling that fate was on my side, I decided to bring the new purchase with me to the show. As chance would have it, I happened to have a silver permanent marker in my bag.

The show was great, and I was able to relive some of my youth. The album had come out while I was in high school and, at the time, I could recite almost every lyric from the album.  I still think that the sequencing of tracks 7-13 is near perfection.  To this day, I can listen through that section of the album without having to skip anything.

The show had ended and I while I was talking to Mellow Man Ace (who performed with his son Cazal Organism as The ZZYZZX earlier in the evening), I saw both Slim Kid 3 and Fat Lip step out.  I was able to cajole them for their autographs, and there you have it.  Some music treasure.

If you’d like to see some more music treasure that I’ve collected, click through this link.

A Year of Concerts: 2012, 24 Concerts, 1 Favorite

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In 2012, I was blessed to have been able to attend 24 concerts.  This being the inaugural post of my blog, I thought it may be a good way to kick things off if I listed each of the concerts in the order that I enjoyed them (starting with the least favorite, and ending with my favorite), with a line or two of my thoughts.

24. Shuggie Otis– The Echoplex- Wed Dec 5

It’s hard to see an artist that you acknowledge as Los Angeles musical royalty without his gift.  By all accounts, a sad musical revelation for me.

23. The 10th Annual Korea Times Music Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sat April 28

While I can appreciate the musicality of some of the K-Pop act thats performed throughout the evening, I’m assuming I didn’t truly appreciate it like the others because I just didn’t understand enough.  I’m a bad Korean-American.

22. Moby– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Jul 14

Moby did two sets:  Live Folk and DJ.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with either.  While I can appreciate his musical venture, I kind of want to hear the older hits that I grew up with.

21. Boyce Avenue– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Dec 08

By buddy proposed to his girl, on stage at this show.  He picked the perfect show.  Chicks dig Boyce Avenue.

20. Starting 6– Vanguard- Fri Aug 10

Hot, sweaty, party hip-hop.  These guys can rock a joint

19. Orange Tulip Conspiracy– Mr. T’s Bowl- Fri Sep 21

The musicality of this Jazz group is amazing. A must for any jazz aficionado. I hear they are recording a new album, and I can’t wait to her the new material.

18. The Airplane Boys– Roxy Theater- Wed Aug 15

Other level hip-hop.  I also saw them at Coachella.  They killed it at the Roxy like they killed it in the desert.

17. Bizarre Ride Fest– Bizarre Ride Live (Fatlip, Slimkid3, J. Swift, etc.)- The Roxy Theater- Sat Dec 29

The Pharcyde’s debut album “Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde”, to quote my buddy David [@davidshein on twitter] is “just one of the best hip hop albums ever”.  I won’t disagree.  Even when it’s performed by only half of the original group, the music still holds up.

16. The Heavy– El Rey Theatre- Fri Sep 07

In support of the their most recent release, The Glorious Dead, I jammed out at this concert.  Their front man, Kevin Swaby, was born to perform.

15. Jason Mraz and Christina Perri– Tour Is A Four Letter Word- Hollywood Bowl- Fri Oct 05

I enjoyed Jason Mraz at the Hollywood Bowl, but I’ve seen him at The Wiltern (full band) and The Walt Disney Concert Hall (acoustic), and his music is better suited for more intimate venues.

14. Animal Collective, Flying Lotus and Huun Huur Tu– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sept 23

Animal Collective delivered.  Huun Huur Tu entertained.  Flying Lotus blew my mind.

13. Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Aug 04

Such and odd concert pairing, but they both were amazing.  KCRW kicks ass.

12. Girl In A Coma, Pinata Protest and Sara Radle– The Echoplex- Fri Apr 27

Girl In A Coma is one of my favorite “new” bands.  These girls kick ass.  I wanted to see them again this year when they were opening for Grizzly Bear, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule.  The lead singer, Nina Diaz, has a voice to die for.

11. Playboy Jazz Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jun 17

Ramsey Lewis is a musical savant.  I always pay money to watch genius perform.  Robin Thicke were Preservation Hall Jazz Band were good.  Was a slightly unimpressed with Spectrum Road.

10. Eric Hutchinson– Troubadour- Sat May 19

He was the first artist I truly “represented” back at my first job after passing the bar exam.  I couldn’t  be prouder of how far he’s come.

9. Allen Stone– The Fonda Theatre- Fri Oct 19

If this guys plays his card right, he could playing the Hollywood Bowl in a few years.  The first thought I had after the show ended?  “I’ll be able to tell my kids (when I have them), that I stood front row at an Allen Stone concert at The Fonda”.

8. Ben Harper– Vieux Farka Tour- Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jul 01

When Ben Harper sang a cappella, without a mic, at the front of the Hollywood Bowl stage, he earned by respect. He also played the one song I needed to hear, “Burn One Down”.  Can’t ask for more.

7. Hot Chip, Passion Pit and Omar Souleyman– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sep 9

I went to the show to see Passion Pit. They met and exceeded expectations.  I was expecting more from Hot Chip.  I didn’t get to see Omar Souleyman.

6. Meshell Ndegeocello and James “Blood” Ulmer– Royce Hall- Fri Dec 7

Meshell Ngedeocello performed her interpretations of Nina Simone classics.  Mesmerizing.

5. Peter Gabriel– Back To Front- Hollywood Bowl- Sat Oct 6

I’m not going to lie.  I had a moment.  Flashing back to my younger years when he played “In Your Eyes”, mine started to water.  The power of music.

4. Fiona Apple– The Greek Theatre- Fri Sep 14

She may have been a bit too gaunt for my personal liking, but she can still sing.  A poetess with a voice.  There isn’t that many like her out there in the world.

3. Mint Condition– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Jan 28

Mint Condition has always been underrated.  In my humble opinion? They’re one of the best live, R&B bands out there, period.  Stokley’s voice is perfect for R&B.  I grew up with their music.  They are one of my favorite bands.

2. No Doubt– Gibson Amphitheatre- Fri Nov 30

I’ve always kicked my self in the rear when it comes to No Doubt.  They used to perform locally when I was growing out, but I never went to a show.  I can now cross this off my concert bucket-list.  Oh, by the way, I’m in love with Gwen…

1. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival– Empire Polo Club- Fri Apr 13 through Sun Apr 15

Dr. Dre & Snoop.  Radiohead.  The Black Keys. Bon Iver. Swedish House Mafia.  At The Drive-In.  Florence and the Machine.  Girl Talk.  The Shins.  Mazzy Star.    Andrew Bird.  Need I go on?

I’ve written about most of the shows on my Facebook page, so if you want to know a little more about particulars, free to shoot me a tweet [@methodman13] and I’ll send over some other thoughts.

I hope your 2013 is filled with musical discovery, and that a song stirs your heart always.