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BILAL: presented by The Art of Cool Project, Frolab & Motorco
Limited bleacher seating will be available for this show. Arrive early!
Born in Philadelphia Bilal Oliver is a schooled musician and dynamic live performer whose artistry draws from jazz, soul, and hip-hop. With fans that includes Eryka Badu, Janelle Monae, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammed and featured spots with, among others, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Diddy and Common, Bilal made his major label debut with 2001′s First Born Second. The cd sold over 300,000 copies and announced that Bilal was an artist to watch. Bilal’s sophomore recording Love For Sale leaked to the internet before its official release and would enjoy over half a million downloads. 2010 saw Air Tight’s Revenge, which yielded the Grammy nominated “Little Ones”. Ask Bilal how he sees his newest release, A Love Surreal, and he replies without hesitation. “I’ve always had a lot of information about what it is that I wanted to do but sometimes it would come off as obscure. This time I think I’ve set out what I meant to do.”
A soulful rumination on love’s varying rhythms Bilal describes A Love Surreal as a “musical art gallery.” As the title might suggest the cd is a reference to the father of Surrealism Salvador Dali. Although Bilal is quick to point out that he isn’t “a painting connoisseur” he loves Dali’s work. And has long been intrigued by the possibilities of fusing art and music. “When I was younger and living in New York City I became friends with a young artist who was making a living off his art. He considered himself a musician and playing guitar would get him thinking about painting. Through him I saw how I could make music out of something visual and vice versa. I was beginning to think in a bigger picture and so, when I went into A Love Surreal I was no longer just looking at things as being “just” a singer. I really put something into it.”
Featuring KING, an all girl R&B trio from Minneapolis, ‘Right at the Core’ is knee deep in a sensual, aloof sound that brings to mind Prince circa 1999. “‘The Core’ is an interesting song because there’s not a real lead vocal, it’s almost a choral type of vibe.” ‘West Side Girl’ undulates with a mysterious groove reminiscent of Sly Stone’s ‘Family Affair.’ The song was recorded with a crew of friends including Sa-Ra’s Shafiq Husayn and up and coming jazz bassist Steven ‘Thunder Cat’ Bruner, who Bilal compares to the late Jaco Pastorious.
Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers
With the 2008 release of their second full-length album entitled Again, The Dynamite Brothers secured their place as soulful blenders of rock and blues. Songs from the album were featured on the debut of HBO’s comedy series, Eastbound and Down. The band also made a cameo appearance during the show’s second season.
After completing a west coast tour as bassist for The Corey Parker Band (son of legendary James Brown saxophonist, Maceo Parker), Shirlette Ammons went back to the business of creating music with her own hip hop/rock band, Mosadi Music. Mosadi has shared stages with Grammy-award winning artists Anjelique Kidjo, Meshell Ndegeocello and rocked side stages at sold-out arena shows alongside main stage acts Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, and others. In 2006, Mosadi Music released their debut album, The Window which featured guest appearances from various artists including Phonte Coleman and Purple St. James (Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange), and Mosadi drummer Matt McCaughan (Portastatic, Bon Iver).
In describing how they came to work together, Shirlette says: “Mitch started emailing me instrumental tracks almost a year before Again came out and I started writing to them and then kinda put them aside. When I heard Again, I recognized some of the tracks and went digging through my demos. I sent what I had been working on to Mitch and it all began from there.” The result is one of the most nuanced genre (and gender)-bending collaborations released in years. Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers is independent rock ‘n roll at its soulful best. They have merged in-depth songwriting with seasoned rhythm and blues to create an album that thumps with the intensity of Zepplin and The Black Keys and investigates the heart with lyrical prowess akin to Lauryn Hill. Featured guests include Justin Robinson (of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops), Kelly Crisp (The Rosebuds) Purple St. James (of the Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange), and many others.
This unique collaboration spans the scope of love in the 21st century while ushering us back to the days of mid and up-tempo blue-light classics; reflective yet funky enough to rock your body and ignite your searching soul.
In the Showroom
Doors @ 8:00 PM
Show @ 9:00 PM
Drop by Motorco to buy advance tickets and save the service charge!