I was able to to make it to the concert for Pharoahe Monch at the Hawthorne Theater last night night which included Destro, Bad Habitat, and Gray Matters as openers. I have been to a few shows at Hawthorne in the past, all with pretty poor showings and sound quality. Last night didn’t seem to be any different. There were around 60 people at the show and for a Monday night you could tell were his core fan base. I arrived to catch Bad Habitat performing most of their set, unfortunately missed Destro, and already walking in I could hear the sound wasn’t going too well. Bad Habitat performed some songs that had a great energy and melody and I was even surprised to see a Luck-One cameo on stage to do his guest verse for their song, DOA. They performed some great songs that had a catchy beat and tone, I just could not understand more than a couple of words from every artist throughout the whole set.
Fast forward ahead to Pharoahe’s set. His set was high energy and he performed his well known pieces from the “archives” after the Organized Konfusion days as well as some new material from the PTSD album. His DJ, Boogie Blind, had a great solo moment after a few songs where he showcased his talents on the turntables. In the past, hip hop concert openers have been ignored by neglectful sound people, where suddenly the music and vocals will be crystal clear for the headliner. Last night was not the case at the Hawthorne. I moved around the room to see if there was a sweet spot I could stand to hear the stereo image of the music better. No such luck. Hanging around the engineer and seeing him basically standing there while this atomic bomb of harsh sound was plaguing the audience, I was quick to judge that it was his fault. Taking a look at the mixer, a Venue console, I could see the two tracks coming from the DJ’s mixer had all the music clipping with some amount of compression along with the vocals coming in really hot.
After standing around, I could see another guy who turned out to be Pharoahe’s road manager with the sound man. I asked him if it was his show and that the sound was very unpleasing. He replied that Pharoahe wanted the sound this way so that people couldn’t hear the lyrics and had to go buy the album to understand what he was saying. Several people came to the sound man and said to turn up the mic and were yelling it in the crowd during musical breaks. I was curious to see if all the music could have been brought down to not clip in the mixer, but still leave Pharoahe’s vocals tucked under the music like he wanted. This would have left a more pleasant sound coming from the speakers and still satisfied his vision.
Art is art, and sometimes artists do weird things for their own reasons, but should we really be subjected to a mediocre experience of a concert for artistic expression or some marketing ploy to sell merchandise?
On a Monday night with a mostly empty room, I think it’s safe to say that the people attending the concert are already aware of Pharoahe and his musical works. I own the music already and I didn’t pay $18 to go to an event to have my hearing assaulted for 3 hours. It seems in hip-hop everyone is trying to figure out a plan to trick people into buying music again. Forgetting, that fans are still willing to support good artists, like Pharoahe, because of their talent. Going to the show last night, greatly disappointed me in seeing, what I consider, one of my favorite emcees. I got to thinking, if I didn’t own this music already, would I really want to buy it after not being able to understand any of it? Without actually talking to Pharoahe, myself or anyone in attendance will never be able to understand just what the idea behind all this was.
Pharoahe’s new album PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is set to be released this year.
The first single off Pharoahe Monch’s ‘PTSD’ project and the third and final installment to his bullet trilogy. Socially prophetic and politically relevant, “Damage” chronicles the tragedy of inner city killings and mass murder. The song provides a chilling reminder that bullets have no name.
Produced & Mixed by Lee Stone
Purchase the track off iTunes: bit.ly/ST66uV
First heard this on Dj Klyph’s Welcome To The Neighborhood the other night and everybody is on here spitting some bars. Taken off Matty’s Mr Nice Guy 2. Available here from Matty’s Bandcamp.
Luck-One is interviewed by Sway and Mack Maine of YMCMB.
Download Luck-One x Dizz project Critical Mass.
Short and leaves you wanting to see/hear more. I like that.
Following a successful web launch in 2011, the Portland, Oregon-based promotions company 360° Unlimited partnered with video production upstart v1creative to launch its video series, The 3rd Degree. In this spotlight series, Host R. Michael Thomas engages in short interviews with the Northwest’s movers, shakers and taste makers. Always classy, always clean, The 3rd Degree provides an opportunity for the city’s best and brightest to show the world what they have to offer.
Check the first interview from the series featuring Luck-One.
The 3rd Degree is brought you to by 360degreesunlimited.com
Gather up some dope video guys (v1creative) a recording studio (Flatline Studios) a producer (Terminill) and 8 of Portland’s top lyricists (Serge Severe, Th3ory Hazit, Jon Belz, Luck-One, Quiz Zilla, Mila Gordana, Cassow, & Braille) and you get PDX Pass The Mic.
Download the song here from Hulkshare
This has been a huge year for Serge Severe. The Portland MC has already released the critically acclaimed solo album Back On My Rhymes, the Severe over Premier Mixtape, and the well-publicized album Culture Shock as a group member of Animal Farm. Now Serge Severe is back for more with his fourth release of the year, Service Without A Smile, an EP that is fully produced by Terminill, one of Portland’s most talented producers and engineers. Know the Truth – available now for free download – is just an appetizer though. The full meal, Service Without A Smile, will be available in late Fall and fans will be able to download the record for no cost. Already a must listen, the missing price tag leaves listeners with no excuse to miss out. Get your taste now.
Portland native/Seattle resident Luck-One represents for the 503 fully. Produced by Chi Duly. Mixed by Flatline Studios. Mastered by Redsecta Mastering.
Flatline Studios located in Portland, OR takes you from the studio to the stage with Northwest hip-hop recording artist, Luck-One as he records a new song and goes directly afterwards to perform at in front of a packed crowd.
Directed/Edited by V1 Creative.
First video to drop from Luck-One off his upcoming release, True Theory. Track produced/mixed by myself. Mastered by Red-Secta. I knew as soon as we laid the monologue for each of the song breaks that this track was going to be dope. Great concept and video. Album drops March 22nd. Video directed by Kevin Hasenkopf of v1Creative.
www.luckoneconscious.com | www.v1Creative.com
Fresh off releasing the True Theory Outtakes, Luck-One brings us his ode to Portland from his forthcoming project, True Theory, entitled “Sounds of My City” (produced by Chi Duly). I had a great time mixing this whole project and can’t wait til he releases it so everyone gets to hear it. Also, look out for the song I produced, “Monotheism”, when it drops with the rest of the project in March.
http://www.luckoneconscious.com | http://www.octobersverycold.com
Sounds of My City (produced by Chi Duly)