KC’s Music Monday: J57

If I was a musician, after finishing a project, I’d probably allow myself take some time to relax before starting the next one. And that’s one of maybe thirty reasons why I’m not a producer or rapper. Brooklyn-based J57, of the Brown Bag All Stars, just happens to be both. And he puts the work in.

I always personally enjoy when an artist breaks into another element of creating – such as a DJ learning production or a rapper getting into more than just rocking the mic. It’s all about putting passion into learning your craft inside and out, and J57 is living proof there’s nothing wrong with being well-rounded in the studio these days.

I also really appreciate the \”no days off\” vibe I get from all members of the Brown Bag All Stars. After all, you get out of it what you put into it – in this case, it’s a multitude of amazing tracks. Additionally, it’s noteworthy that with the BBAS (much like with our music scene in the 518), there is a solid and visible balance between independent projects and group endeavors, and support for every effort from both the members of the group and those listening alike. It’s hard to keep up, really, and that definitely holds true with J57.

Today, URB Magazine debuted a new track by J57 titled “Heisenberg Blue” which is this pretty instrumental that holds a large, cinematic feel before turning into a tease by ending quicker than I’d have liked. Luckily, the track is part of an forthcoming \”freEP\” presented by URB Magazine, titled 0057: FlaskLIFE, so there will be more to look forward to in the near future of this capacity.

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Photos: SCOPE and Fountain Art Fairs in NYC

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This past Friday, I went down to the city to check out the annual Fountain and SCOPE art fairs.

SCOPE and Fountain are two of several other curated art fairs that are organized under the umbrella of the Armory Arts Week. I also saw organized art collections from Fountain and SCOPE this past December as a part of Miami Art Basel, which is one of the largest and most influential collection of art shows featuring galleries, exhibitors and artists from all over the world.

The amount of work, talent, creativity, diversity, etc. can be overwhelming at times and it feels impossible to check out what the art shows have to offer in full. It’s really fun to walk around and soak it all in. It’s hard NOT to take a ton of photos of the work, but I contained myself much better this time around. Plus you know, opening night featured an open bar and performance art pieces, so there was much going on.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary, fine, performance or street art, these art fairs have all bases covered. There’s something for everyone, and you can also find affordable art in the mix as well. It was also awesome seeing local artists such as Greg Dunn and artists from Davis Art Services, based out of North Adams. Shouts also to Saturated Threads who I met back in the day at Marketplace Gallery. On our way out, we saw street artist Ellis at work tracing the shadow of a bicycle. Overall, this year’s shows were great and I highly recommend you keep tabs on the annual arts week every March in NYC and check it out for yourself.

Hit the jump or click the image above to check out some photos from this year’s fairs!

Also be sure to check out Art Geek Studios’ photo recap over on Facebook!

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Dimensions Festival 2012: Photos and Recap

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While en route to Croatia, by way of three planes and one bus, I came across a line in the book I was reading at the time (the Best Music Writing of 2009 compilation), that read, “To write is to begin with nothing and hopefully get somewhere.”

Being fully aware that multi-day music festivals are as much of a subjective enigma as anything else in life, with as many different experiences as there are people in attendance, that line struck a cord and has been buried deep within me ever since. I had hoped from the beginning that traveling to Croatia would help me to gain a new perspective – how could it not, really? – but I didn’t realize such a simply-worded outlook could be so influential (and before I even got to my destination, no less).

This newfound insight was reaffirmed in the days following the festival as I began to digest what I had just experienced and thought about how to begin to put it into words for KAB. My goal here is simple: to start with the six scatter-brained notes and the 894 pictures I took on my iPhone, and hope to get somewhere.

Hit the jump for a massive photo gallery and to read more about my take of this year’s debut Dimensions Festival.

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Recap: Every Time I Die + Gwar at Northern Lights

Gwar crawled out of their cave in hell Saturday night, dragging Every Time I Die and Ghoul alongside them, to play to a sweat-soaked-turned-fake-blood-soaked crowd at Northern Lights, as part of the “Return of the World Maggot” tour. The national tour kicked off on Tuesday of this past week and will also make an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thursday, the 27th. Seeing Every Time I Die on the bill was a huge draw for many (including myself) and they very well could have headlined the night and have had just as much of a successfully packed turn out, if not more.

ETID is a staple in the music that shaped my youth and last night easily made my own personal ‘best shows in 2k11’ list. Judging off their tweet from last night, they felt the same way.

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OUTPOST1 Preview: A chat with Joe Nice

It has naturally developed as standard procedure for us OUTPOST1 party plannin’ folks to provide for you some background info on our headlining guests, usually in the form of an exclusive mix tape and a Q+A profile, as distributed for both pre-game and educational purposes. Perhaps, this time next year, you can look forward to holographic OUTPOST1 trading cards based off of the DJ profiles I curate — that’d be dope, right? — But for this month’s, it was more fitting (and fun) to have an informational and laid-back conversation instead of compiling “fun facts” and the like, so I phoned in with the man himself, Joe Nice.

Friday, both WCDB and the Fuze Box respectably, will play host to Joe Nice, alongside Dwell and residents Deep Children and Party With Tina. As Andrew intro’d in earlier in the week, Joe Nice is universally credited for being North America’s ambassador to dubstep. Joe Nice’s trading card would share with you the following information: he has been in the game since before there was even a label for the dubstep genre, he founded DubWar, which was the first dubstep party in America back in ’05, (and went 5 years strong), is a founding DJ on Baltimore’s GourmetBeats radio, was the first American DJ to play on RINSEFM, first American to play DMZ and the first American to play FWD. Joe Nice currently is behind the new series RECONSTRVCT down in Brooklyn, which carries the tagline “low frequency with decency”, alongside fellow DubWar resident Dave Q and Truenature, and also was the US debut for Deep Medi producer V.I.V.E.K, this past July.

I spoke with Joe Nice yesterday for almost an hour on the phone and our conversation began with us both joking that I had no idea what to ask him. Bassfaced did an interview with Joe that was absolutely on par and covered all grounds that I’d want to cover. Do yourself a favor and read it. Anyway, Joe wasn’t all talked out following that interview and I felt like our conversation flew by in a bass-driven heartbeat.

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