Joker & Nomad – November 25th @ Holocene
Grime and dubstep – the two bass-heavy sounds that combine the deep thrust of jungle with the thud of dub (obviously) and the glitz of modern hip-hop – is a phenomenon in the UK, spawning chart-topping icons like Dizzee Rascal and the artful grit of Burial. As with any vital music scene, it’s the people that are coming along in the wake of the big wave of success that are going to be pushing the genres in bold, new directions. One of those folks is the producer Joker. While he’s only been in the scene for about two years, he’s quickly achieving legendary status through his vicious, glassine 12″ sides like this year’s contender for single of the year, “Purple City”, and the swirling headtrip of his entry “Untitled_rsn” (found on a 12″ featuring tracks by fellow dubsteppers Pinch & Moving Ninja and Peverelist. Pitchfork already named him Producer of the Year once (in 2008). I am sure he’ll pick up that accolade a few more times before he fades into the distance.
Rainbow Arabia – November 21st @ Rotture
With the glut of artists who are adding a little bit of “world beat” flair to their indie pop stylings, it’s easy to overlook those groups that actually get the sun-kissed grooves and rooftop party vibe dead on, like this husband and wife duo from California. They feel like a lost artifact from the New York-based August Darnell/Ze Records scene, but have enough modern production and flair to keep them rooted in the music of the modern diaspora. The hard-baked, late summer vibe of the music comes at the right time to fight the chill of our current weather.
Hungry Holler – November 24th @ Ella St. Social Club
This Portland-based quintet inspires me to want to open my own beer-soaked juke joint/dive bar, simply so I can hire them to be the house band. Theirs is a modern take on rough and ready country, blues and rockabilly, one ostensibly inspired by the alt-country movement that gave us bands like Son Volt and The Jayhawks. But it is also full of heart, youthful energy and an understanding that appreciating your musical ancestors is one thing (just click the link above to their MySpace page and check out their exhaustive list of influences), but simply trying to recreate their vibe and spirit is a fool’s errand. Their sound is all their own and it something to be celebrated loudly and preferably with some bourbon.