BECAUSE I AM SO PROUD OF THIS REVIEW AND LOVE IT UP AND DOWN I ASK THAT YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO READ IT IN ITS ENTIRETY.
Southpaw was completely saturated with eccentric looking artsy types for “The Aquarian Inauguration Celebration”. In celebration of the new presidency, the Aquarian birthday month, and the mark of a new era, the Inauguration party was set in the aim of welcoming in progressive ideals, politics, and art. Hosted by Homeboy Sandman, and featuring acts from what can be haphazardly categorized as Afro-Punk, Afro-beat, or hip-hop, the various segments of the night were truly “out”—as the jazz cats like to say—or simply unconventional. Similarly, the makeup of the crowd embodied the subcultural communities that take ownership of those genres.
Though the men-folk dominated the majority of the performers, the women were the ones who truly inspired and awed.
Sweetie, the female led punk/pop/hardcore/electronica band had the venue pulsating with rough electric guitar riffs, and multidimensional synthesizers, carrying the force of the lead singers melodic yet fierce vocals. In the tradition of Led Zeppelin, yet with a feminine edge, Sweetie laid down tightly arranged vocals, enormous distortions, in a well-manicured manner, all the while looking hot and intimidating as hell. The polarized crowd gave diverse reactions to the act. There were clearly some avid fans, and then those who were not of the rock mindset, who stood equally awed, but swayed awkwardly, unsure of how to really get down to the music.
Another noteworthy act of the evening was TreZure The Empress. Her band exudes the sounds of Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, with a little bit of ska flavor. With an onstage personality of Sharon Jones, and a nightingale voice, TreZure’s voice was soft enough to lull you to sleep, but brilliant enough to move crowds. Scampering around the stage, in her Motown-diva little black dress, and owning the stage as her band members stayed stationary in their places, TreZure electrified the audience with her dramatic effect, and whole body performance.
Also including performances by Cavalier, Junk Science, M.C. K~Swift, Miz Metro and The Make Believes, The Antidote, Sankofa, and special guests, “The Aquarian Inauguration Celebration” was a fantastic effort to expose progressive music lovers to severely talented local new musical acts, as well as visual art. Stationed downstairs was an art exhibition displaying works from Leola Bee, Craig Sanders, Dave Chino, Sarah Kolker and others. The entire venue space was transformed into an art mecca, with good vibes, good music, and the exchange of good dialogues; a critical statement of affirming the emerging art community.-Boyuan Gao
DO YOU HEAR HOW THEM LADIES RUN THIS MUTHAF%*&@!!
Now how is it that Led Zepplin and Chaka Khan get discussed in the same review? Or nightingale's and synthesizers? This is what will happen when these hard core, innovations from SWEETIE and TreZure the Empress are both in the building. It is because the mission of these women is cohesion, they don't come to clash, but to bring everyone together. To have such variant genres , the energy, independence and veracity with which Ife and TreZure both sing and that both bands command, show and prove how close these music cousins are. Much of the electricity that is maintained from each band is provoked from a strong sense of leadership from all of the women. Tecla, playing dark and indulgent chords while singing so calmly exudes great ownership and responsibility for her instruments. Ife, with her deep red nails and lips and jet black hair roams the stage with a warrior call...and then you see how come TreZure's heavy bass lines and guttural drums and deep ancestral wails aren't that far removed. In short, we never clash because we make music that shows you how to LEAD YOURSELF. We aren't doing what is expected and thankfully as I develop as a musician and listen to SWEETIE blossom, i can hear that we won't be predictable or typecast anytime soon. You should expect anything and everything from each of these bands. And what you will surely gain every time you hear us is BLACK GIRLS RULING. No matter how we offer it out, we come from the same spirit, listen to much of the same music and hope to inspire the same way. I told Ife that night that no one should ever question how hood she is EVER because in the end of the day, no matter what people think they like, they can't help but love GOOD ROCK SOUL MUSIC. It's like Leontyne Price singing opera, or Brandee Younger playing classical harp music; when you know who you are you don't have to leave any parts of yourself out to stay true or BLACK. That is the power of the diaspora, the fusion and coming together. Fierce Punk Rock women and a dominant female Afrobeat band leader in the room with a bunch of MCs, business suits and painters makes all the sense in the world to me. Cuz Ife sings punk rock music like a rapper. And I sing afrobeat soul with operatic undertones. WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT AND WE DO. This is why we will thrive in this industry and we will offer a new perspective in our days. We won't be labeled any longer. Punk Rock, Hip Hop, Alternative Soul, Rock Hop and whatever else is what we play and what we will support if our peoples are making it.
BLACK MUSIC WILL NO LONGER BE TYPECAST NOR EXCLUSIONARY. AND SOUL MUSIC WILL NEVER BE CONTROLLED. BIG UPS TO MY WHOLE FAMILY AND EVERYONE FROM THE AIC! WE MAJOR WE MAJOR!!!!