RAQ came back to North by Northwest in Philadelphia on Cinco de Mayo after a terrific show in Virginia where die hard fans boarded a bus to follow them north to this Philly show. The momentum of RAQ is building, but they really seem to enjoy playing at this small almost secret venue tucked in a unique corner of the city. And after seeing them twice here, I don't blame them.
This was my first time in the old fashioned Theatre of the Living Arts since it has turned into the Fillmore at the TLA, and it was a very interesting bill for me. I am very familiar with the current afrobeat champions from Brooklyn, on the other hand, I've never heard of State Radio so I was interested in seeing a new band.
With the end of the String Cheese Incident looming, keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth debuted yet another side project aptly called soulside. Of all his collaborations, this one might seem like the most odd of pairings: Kyle, DJ Logic, and Speech of Arrested Development. Flanked by Ryan Jalbert on guitar, Garrett Sayers on bass, and
It was in a small hipster bar in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia where I met the band for a pre-show birthday dinner for my good friend and road manager Ben Scrimali. The members of the band were extremely down to earth and friendly as we talked about Boulder and the ever changing music of the Motet. After we ate and drank it was time to be merry and mosey over to the Fire, another small bar in the big city.
Even the most die hard jam band fan will at one point crave something new and unusual, a step away from the traditional structure of lead guitar solos dragging on for minutes. This doesn't mean that a fan of such musical structure needs to subject themselves to standardized pop music; it simply suggests that the listener might need to search for music made with more unconventional instruments. The answer you seek lies not in a far away land but with Asheville, North Carolina's own Toubab Krewe.
Many musicians who stage their very existence through live art seem to have trouble rolling over that passion into studio projects. The atmosphere changes drastically, and for many can stifle the creative process. However, those who embrace this medium can translate very well and generally reward the listener with real substance.