Saturday, June 23, 2012

DJ Klyph presents: The Movement

Since the last time we spoke...

...the homie Tope from TxE released yet another project. This man is constantly working, and putting out quality material for real. Check the link above to pick up this new project from the northwest MC with features from HalfManHalf, LMNO and Stevo.

Destro Destructo made a visit through Welcome to the Neighborhood to announce the June release from the project he's been working on, rhyming over CashFlow beats. This time he recruited former partners in rhyme Snafu and NyQwil for a Frontline reunion. Remember to pick up these singles being released through Vinyl Fluid Records for free at the Bandcamp page. Check out a clip from Destro's visit:

Destro Destructo on Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph May 2012 from DJ Klyph on Vimeo.

Runaway Productions has been promoting hip hop throughout the northwest and I had an opportunity to host him once again in the Neighborhood to discuss the state of Portland hip hop and plan for building the next NW Hip Hop Fest which Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph is proud to be connecting with in a very real way (more to come on that soon).

June started off with a visit from G_Force aka Calvin Valentine of TxE. This was a meeting that was supposed to happen a while ago, so it was great to finally sit down with this talented MC/musician. Check this quick clip from that visit:

G_Force aka Calvin Valentine and Dain on Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph June 2012 from DJ Klyph on Vimeo.

It was cool to connect with DaiN who came through as well to talk producing, his upcoming project and the FangTshida collaboration which includes members G_Force, DaiN, Sam Trump, N.VS, Cody DeCamry and Rio. Check out the write up on the project from Fresh Selects.

Aside from the TxE project and the FangTshida project is the Calvin Valentine album Red Eye Flights. Here is the video from the album's title cut:

**NOTE: Explict Language**

Be on the look for the next project, Green Team Official, slated to drop in July featuring the collaboration of G_Force and Lawz Spoken.

I'm a big fan of MC Luck-One Conscious and had a chance to meet producer Dizz at the King Of The Northwest listening party. We talked about connecting and it was truly a pleasure to chop it up with this talented cat. Aside from producing and singing hooks on projects for Matty, The Good Sin and others, he's been working on a collaboration with Luck-One entitled Critical Mass which is scheduled to drop late summer 2012. I got to play the first leak from the album on WTTN and man I'm telling you, this project is going to be nice! Check the link the podcast of the show for the 1st and 2nd hour, plus here's a video clip of the visit:

Dizz on Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph June 2012 from DJ Klyph on Vimeo.

I was blessed to chat with Jake Espi of We Out Here Magazine about the show and some of my favorite moments. So cool to be included in what I believe is one of the best publications covering northwest music and lifestyle. If you haven't had a chance yet, check it out.

There a some things brewing for this summer, so be sure to stay connected every Tuesday from 7-9pm to 107.1FM, and you can catch past episode via podcast on iTunes

Until the next time we meet,



Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Great thing about shows like this - touring headliner (in this case, Little Barrie, a power trio from Nottingham, England) blows into town without any support attached - is that it gives relatively unknown local bands a chance to hone their act from an honest-to-goodness real stage. The not-so-great thing about shows like this is that it gives...(etc etc). Vas aren't bad, just raw and in need of seasoning (though there's plenty of salt in some of the lyrics. "Take me, rape me" figures in the chorus of their second song). A trio, with a woman bass player/singer, a 30-something guitarist/singer (who is more than a little seasoned, some tidy/fierce soloing as it happens) and a working man's drummer, they trade in a somewhat unfocused, shadowy 90s sound, with hints of both punk snarl and some basic bar chord midwest indie. Earnest, if a bit ploddy, once they find a following, once they find a few more hooks (that don't belong to Blondie - the set's penultimate song couldn't owe more to "One Way Or Another" if it took out a mortgage with it), they'll hopefully find their footing. For now, the stage at Dante's feels too big for them.

Happy Death, another trio, kicks it up the proverbial notch straightaway. Singer's playing a Gibson, has a curious early adolescent voice that somehow works and the opening 2-minute boogie shuffle thingy is a welcome hiccup in the evening. Next is an indie psych, White Stripey garage number though not slavish to any of those adjectives. Though 'now' enough in appearance and attitude, sonically they wouldn't sound out of place on a bill with Mountain in 1969. Confusing? Yeah, but in a quite promising way. They veer from the aforementioned almost T-Rex stylee to plaintive factory town lament to flat out rock assault with punky aggression. I call this a good thing. They aren't plundering the style spectrum for the sake of it but because they can, and it suits them. Their card (yes, a business card, a band with a business card that's more like a mini-flyer), handed me by the drummer during Vas's set, proclaims it's "rock and roll for the end of the world," and whereas I would have thought that maybe death metal and not Happy Death would fill that bill, I'm, um, happy at the prospect of this particular alternative. I'll take the peeling of psyched-up garage riffs over growling sludge any day of the apocalypse.

If nothing else, Advisory help propel one of the most abiding truisms of our (rock 'n' roll) time: a trio is too big a band. Just a mouthy guitarist and a mouthy drummer, they nonetheless pull out the panache necessary to command the stage. Playing a kind of ragged trailer park blues rock mayhem, what they lack in self-confidence is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The drummer with his Keef Richards bandana and the guitarist dude with his mohawky quiff tear it up as best as two delightfully rude gentlemen can. Here they lurch into some go-to-hell rockabilly, there they descend into a faux-weepy ballad like Jack Nitzsche if he'd been raised in a flea market (later I'd be reminded of The Minutemen if Boon Watt & Hurley had been raised on a diet of Flatt & Scruggs and hillbilly crack). Sometimes they tear it up pretty good, sometimes they just tear it up, but whatevs, they're a couple of good time lads well worth a Friday night's worth of whoop-up even if it's only Wednesday.

OK, I gotta admit, it's a damn shame that a band the stature of Little Barrie (three well-received LPs since 2005, #'s 1 & 3 produced by Edwyn Collins, #2 by Dan The Automator), in a rare, first-ever appearance, attracts a crowd of fewer than thirty people to Dante's on a balmy late spring evening. Chalk it up to some decent competition in town at other venues, but we may as well be at a rehearsal. Which, come to think of it, turns out to be a damn nice thing for those of us smart enough to be there (and besides, in 1979 I saw Killing Joke in a North London pub in the company of about a dozen other punters, and that wasn't nearly as good a show as LB put on this evening). Located on a classic British spectrum between Small Faces and Dr Feelgood, this is unapologetic working class rawk, loud, choppy-tight and addictive. On second song 'Twisted Little Blade,' guitarist-singer-band namesake Barrie Cadogan and bassist Lewis Wharton trade vocals with a petulant abandon while drummer Virgil [son of Steve] Howe does this ecstatic rhythm thing that parses the territory between Dave Grohl and and a Sufi dancer that happens to be doing his thing while sitting down. And again I'm struck: charismatic guitarist with typical British dexterity a la Johnny Marr, bassist in quiet young John Entwistle mode, drummer as just described, where's the audience? Whatever the reasons - second LP "Stand Your Ground" didn't find a US label, new album "King Of The Waves" has been out less than a year - if the band continues to bang it out at the pace they do tonight, they'll attract a small army of follower everywhere they go. Fifth song 'Precious Pressure' brings it all together, a proto-Stone Roses groove, a guitar explosion worthy of, say, Humble Pie (or, yes, the Faces) and though it's unashamedly retro, it's too damn iconic-sounding to ignore and seems to leap over the decades and land in our laps, which for most of us don't exist, of course, as we're too busy being up and dancing. Throughout their set, in fact, this is what they're doing, playing at the speed of dance, the jerking and bobbing-of-head type, jungle urban rock and roll, baby, and we're all as unselfconsciously happy to be moving to it as they are to be playing it. Next-to-last offering 'New Diamond Love' is a kind of singalong that morphs into a righteous kick-out-the-jams rock monster while still retaining its earworm hook and as such wins highlight of the night honors, though 'Love You' off "Stand Your Ground" is right behind it, both literally and insofar as the highlight reel goes, quoting as it does the raucous riff from 'Train Kept A-Rollin' and by this time there's a low boil of delirium trembling through the room and most of us are exuberantly drained enough that the lack of an encore comes as welcome news. After the show I talked at some length with Lewis about the band's history, how they've gelled since Virgil's come aboard and the rather odd nature of this tour (playing places they've never been before, some of them quite out of the way). First though, I apologized for the sparse attendance to which he politely demurred. "No," he said, "in some ways we prefer playing to a smaller room like this. That way we can see how much everyone's enjoying themselves," (or something to that effect, don't quote me quoting him) and I have to say I see his point, as everyone I happened to glanc at during Little Barrie's set was clearly enjoying themselves. So hey, rare as it was that Little Barrie was in town, should they come blowing into Portland again, even if it is on a Wednesday in late May or, for that matter, a Monday in the darkest middle of January, don't you dare miss them.