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Archive for the ‘Open Mike Eagle’ Category

[CANCELLED: September 24, 2020] Brother Ali / Open Mike Eagle / DJ Last Word [rescheduled from April 8]

indexI thought that the September date would give me a chance to go to this show, but I understand why it was cancelled.  I hope when Brother Ali decides to tour again, he brings Open Mike with him.

I don’t know Brother Ali aside from the fact that he releases a “deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop.” He says “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates.”  I can get behind that.

But really I was interested in this show for Open Mike Eagle.  Open Mike is a great “alternative” rapper from Chicago.  His lyrics are thoughtful and political and his music is more than just beats.  His last two albums were fantastic.  I just saw that he says that They Might Be Giants are a major influence on music which is pretty wild.

DJ Last Word is Brother Ali’s DJ.  He gets a little opening set.  When I looked him up all it said about him was that he is a real life pilot.  Which is pretty funny.

Milkboy is a tiny venue, a great way to see an artist–especially since the videos of Brother Ali show him in much bigger venues.

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[POSTPONED: April 8, 2020] Brother Ali / Open Mike Eagle / DJ Last Word [moved to September 24]

indexI don’t know Brother Ali aside from the fact that he releases a “deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop.” He says “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates.”  I can get behind that.

But really I was interested in this show for Open Mike Eagle.  Open Mike is a great “alternative” rapper from Chicago.  His lyrics are thoughtful and political and his music is more than just beats.  His last two albums were fantastic.  I just saw that he says that They Might Be Giants are a major influence on music which is pretty wild.

DJ Last Word is Brother Ali’s DJ.  He gets a little opening set.  When I looked him up all it said about him was that he is a real life pilot.  Which is pretty funny.

Milkboy is a tiny venue, a great way to see an artist–especially since the videos of Brother Ali show him in much bigger venues.

I wasn’t going to this show because it was the same night as Tropical Fuck Storm.  But with it postponed to September, I now have a chance again.

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SOUNDTRACK: OPEN MIKE EAGLE-Tiny Desk Concert #687 (January 3, 2018).

I had seen Iron Mike Eagle’s album on a lot of Year End Best of lists, but I hadn’t heard of him before.  Well, I absolutely loved his Tiny Desk Concert and I’m ready to get his album as well.

I love that the “(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home” starts with a live trumpet and the rest of the band is there playing live, too–two synths, a live bass and Mike on some kind of techie gadget.  But the great thing about this Concert is Mike’s delivery.

He sings/raps and he’s got an uplifting style of rapping combined with the spare but cool/weird music that fit with the lyrics.

And it’s really the lyrics that won me over.

Everybody’s secrets inspire all of my scenes
I write in all of my fantasies and I die in all of my dreams
My superpowers I maintain
I take control of my scene

and the hook:

I done told
Some goofy shit that sounded like a poem
I spun around in circles on the globe
So who the hell could ever feel at home

I could tell that  the lyrics were pretty interesting, but I was surprised to read:

Open Mike Eagle may have released one of the most political albums of 2017, but Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is also among the most personal. It comes across best in his live performances. For only the second time during his recent tour cycle, the LA-based artist played a set aided by the live instrumentation of musicians Jordan Katz (trumpet, keys, sampler), Josh Lopez (keys, sampler) and Brandon Owens (bass) for his Tiny Desk debut.

He performed two songs from the stellar Brick.  The title comes from:

It’s been a decade since the last brick fell from the Robert Taylor Homes, the old Chicago Housing Authority project personified on the record. Yet, when it comes to excavating the politics of place, and all the racial implications inherent in cultural erasure, there is no project released in recent years that comes close.

“Daydreaming in the Projects” is, like the other songs, political but warm:

(This goes out to)
Ghetto children, making codewords
In the projects around the world
Ghetto children, fighting dragons
In the projects around the world

and then this seemingly nonsensical rhyme that speaks volumes

Everything is better when you don’t know nothing
I’m grown so I’m always disgusted
All these discussions online is mayonnaise versus mustard
Mayonnaise people think French can’t be trusted
Mustard people think eggs is all busted
But fuck it
We in it for the pattern interruptions

I love that it is accompanied by a simple but pretty trumpet melody while Jordan is also playing keys.

The set ender “Very Much Money,” from his 2014 album Dark Comedy, is tremendous.

What a great verse:

My friends are superheros
None of us have very much money though
They can fly, run fast, read Portuguese
None of us have very much money though
They know judo and yoga, photography, politics
Some of them leap over buildings
Writers, magicians, comedians, astronauts
None of it mattered when niggas was hungry

All to a catchy, cool beat that is in the spirit of bands like De La Soul, but far more modern and powerful.  Great stuff.  And if “Very Much Money” is representative, I need to check out his old stuff too.  And maybe even the other three (!) bands he’s with: he is a member of the hip hop collective Project Blowed. He is also a member of Thirsty Fish and Swim Team.

 

[READ: October 20, 2017] If Found

Tabitha had this book and I thought it looked really cute so I grabbed it not really knowing what it was.

Basically, it is the blank notebook of Montreal artist Elise Gravel.  She says:

At night, when my daughters are asleep, I draw in my blank notebook.  I draw complete nonsense   Whatever comes to my mind.  When I draw in my black notebook, it feels good–it’s as if I let out all the ideas that are bouncing around in my head.  I never critique the drawings in my black notebook. I give myself the right to fail.  To mess up, to create ugly drawings.  I’m kind to myself. (more…)

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