Thievery Corporation: it’s not uncommon to find multiple languages represented on any given album
- Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$84 - $147
For over 20 years, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have been expanding the dancefloor boundaries of EDM as Thievery Corporation. Though early efforts were paint-by-number exercises in straight dub and acid jazz, their evolution toward stadium spinning has been fueled by melding world music into their jams, particularly Middle-Eastern, Latin, and Indian sounds. Since the breakthrough release that landed them a worldwide audience, 2005’s The Cosmic Game, it’s not uncommon to find multiple languages represented on any given album, from Spanish and Italian to French, Portuguese, Romanian, Persian, and even Hindi. Their newest full-length, Treasures From the Temple, dropped a few weeks ago via their ESL Music label, sporting bouncy island reggae grooves and guest turns from heavyweights such as Natalia Clavier and LouLou Ghelichkani, as well as young reggae phenom Racquel Jones on the track “Letter to the Editor.” Of course, the band’s usual political and social stances are trotted out and propped up from time to time, as in “History” where Boston rapper Mr Lif complains about how “I can’t look at a cop without second-guessing.” The support tour due at the Belly Up on October 17 includes British-Jamaican reggae star Julian Marley, one of the many musical sons of the late Bob Marley (albeit the only one born and raised in the UK).
- Thursday, November 1, 2018, 9 p.m.
3519 El Cajon Boulevard,
$12 - $15
Jerry Paper, the aka of songwriter-producer Lucas Nathan, collects and assembles his fragments of synth-pop the way the neighborhood cat lady collects pets: all are welcome, until the person at the center is buried in fur and purr. He says he began making multi-layered electronic pop because he hated electronic pop, but the cat lady complains about the litterbox she never bothers cleaning too, and you know they still adore the stinky little objects of their obsession. He cites acts as diverse as Steely Dan and Stereolab among his influences, but the more recent of his half dozen or so releases since 2015 are more comparable to the mile-deep megatracks of eccentric sonic astronauts such as Ariel Pink and krautrockers Nektar and Amon Duul. His debut for Stones Throw (occasional label home of local indie pioneer Gary Wilson) drops later this year, produced by members of BadBadNotGood. The first single, for “Your Cocoon,” seems to address his comic stage persona (“I’m here dressed up like a cartoon, asking please please burn your cocoon”), which arrives at Space on November 1 accompanied by a five piece backing band featuring sax, synths, guitar, bass, and drums.
The Space bill includes Prophet, a 1980s San Francisco underground synth-funk act whose devotional cult following has spent the last 34 years boogieing to his one and only private-press, self-produced LP, 1984’s Right On Time, a vinyl rarity limited to only 1000 copies that now sells for $200 and up. After a career gap between albums that makes Tom Scholz, Roger Waters, and Axl Rose look positively prolific, his second album was just released by Stones Throw, Wanna Be Your Man, pairing the 59-year-old with labelmate Mndsgn for an all new round of breakdance-era braggadocio. His comeback, or rather (given his obscurity) arrival, has so far included opening sets for Snoop Dogg and Dam-Funk, mirroring the same rescued-from-obscurity trick that Stones Throw pulled off when they took DIY cult hero Gary Wilson (heralded in song by superfan Beck), then working at a College Grove nudie club called Jolar, and spearheaded a return to record stores with new music that resulted in a documentary film and a performance with the Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Also appearing is another Stones Throw act, Stimulator Jones, a Virginia-based R&B crooner who shreds on the guitar and plays every instrument on his debut album, and LA-based jazz pianist Kiefer (beat-maker for Kaytranda, Anderson Paak, etc).
- Sunday, November 18, 2018, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Formed in England while still in their teens, the paisley rockers of Yndi Halda make dreamy musical beanbag chairs evocative of big room-filling pop like PM Dawn and World Party, with the ethereal undertones of Enigma and chanting Gregorian monks. Sampling their full album streams on YouTube, Under Summer and Enjoy Eternal Bliss, means being lulled into aural acquiescence with occasional injections of pastoral, acoustic opiates. Things never quite work into the fever pitch of freak-folk rockers like Comus, but there’s still an ebb and flow of intensity not unlike the chant patterns at synagogues and Hare Krishna temples, as well as the mosh pit-driving rhythms of punk, only rendered in production all blurry and out of focus, as if there’s a buried backwards-masked Dead Kennedys track playing at quarter-speed somewhere in the mix. It took them almost ten years between their 2007 debut and a 2016 followup, but a new EP called A Sun-Coloured Shaker is said to be in the works, to be previewed on a tour bringing them to the Soda Bar on November 18. The bill includes Illinois trio Staghorn, who have a new ecological EP called Wormwood III, a multi-part concept project concerning the worldwide environmental water crises.