Tag Archives: Carol Banks Weber

Capitol Hill Block Party revs up with coolest indie bands this side of Nirvana

Review of Industrial Revelation’s CD Release performance at Rhythm & Rye on April 10th

Written by Carol Banks Weber

If Bumbershoot’s the big musical, corporate deal in Seattle come Labor Day Weekend, then the Capitol Hill Block Party’s its grungier, edgier grassroots cousin. Ever since CHBP opened ticket sales last Thursday, word’s spreading fast and show’s are selling out even faster.

In the Northwest, the coolest music festival technically isn’t really a festival. It’s one massive, awesome block party featuring some of the edgiest, hottest bands everyone should be listening to.

The 19th annual block party takes place July 24-26 on East Pike Street and 12th Avenue just north of downtown Seattle proper, where all the action usually is. Gates open at different times, depending on the day, but it’s usually between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Billboard’s Natalie Weiner broke the news of the initial lineup back in March. She spoke with block party producer Jason Lajeunesse about the uniqueness of this alternative music festival. “I’m very pleased with the lineup we were able to put together this year,” he said. “In a time when large festivals are popping up all throughout the U.S., and booking many of the same bands from top to bottom, I’m proud of our diversity and quality of talent in 2015. I feel like this lineup is exemplary of the spirit of the neighborhood and the festival as a whole.”

Check out the alternative, indie bands, though, from the Northwest and beyond — 100 of ‘em. They kick everyone’s behind, and a lot of their shows are already selling out fast. Besides fly names, the bands also bring legit talent ranging from hip-hop (Flatbush ZOMBiES), dream-pop (Whitney Lyman), and the highly, outlandishly inappropriate (Thunderpussy), to industrial, revelatory jazz, smooth electronica (Danny Harley’s The Kite String Tangle), and the completely ambient-freakadelic-goth bizarre (Lesbian — they’re men btw).

Even in a music festival as fringe and fabulous as this one, there’s bound to be a few headliners. At the Capitol Hill Block Party, they include Father John Misty, Girlpool, Shabazz Palaces, BadBadNotGood, Toro y Moi, The Kills, Built to Spill, Jamie xx, and TV On The Radio.

Tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party available HERE.

Industrial Revelation plays on the Vera Project Stage on Sunday, July 26th at 2pm!

Get ready for Industrial Revelation to turn up jazz: ‘Oak Head’s’ roots go deep

Get ready for Industrial Revelation to turn up jazz: ‘Oak Head’s’ roots go deep

Written by Carol Banks Weber

The songs they played were beautiful, dramatic, psychedelic, funny, funky, swinging, punchy. So much breadth in a single tune; many were multi-movement pieces of six or eight minutes that would sojourn in unexpected interludes before returning triumphant to a principal theme. They had names like “No Tears for a Wolf” (an Oluo original) and “Shadowboxing in the Wind” (by Lewis). By the end of the set, Oluo was in his undershirt and the other guys were sweating through their sweater vests.
Jonathan Zwickel, City Arts, January 26, 2013

Industrial Revelation is the next revolution in garage band jazz, made up of some of Seattle’s hottest young talents: drummer D’Vonne Lewis, bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, keyboardist Josh Rawlings, and trumpeter Ahamefule J. Oluo.

Photo by Daniel Sheehan

Something’s happening in Seattle’s underground. While visitors and locals flock to see the usual rotation of aging hit-makers, Grammy darlings, and critics’ choices, serious young musicians are making a dent making real music together in the true spirit of jazz improvisation and collaboration. They’re at the late-night dives, janky clubs, each other’s basements, when they’re not doing time on major stages of major venues amassing accolades and awards, simply for the pursuit of honest music.

They don’t come any better than Industrial Revelation. Comprised of established, young, and hungry musicians who are tops in their field, this garage-jazz quartet already hooked a legion of fans a decade ago. Drummer D’Vonne Lewis (McTuff), grandson of Seattle R&B legend Dave Lewis, put together this group to have fun, yeah, but to go far and change the face of jazz.

He gathered Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award winner Evan Flory-Barnes on upright bass, Town Hall’s inaugural 2012 Artist in Residence Ahamefule J. Oluo(trumpet), and another Golden Ear recipient, Josh Rawlings (piano/Fender Rhodes) for this not-so-small task. They’ve actually been together jamming it out for about 10 years, gathering a cult following of fiercely devoted fans with every heart-pounding gig and live recording (three to date).

Last year in October, they released their first serious studio album, “Oak Head,” named after the isolated cabin they were holed up in recording for two spring days. Known for the intensity of their powerful, mood-shifting live shows, as they completely get engrossed in the progression of each song, this new release is only a bit of a departure in that Industrial Revelation tried to keep all that energy contained to serve the truth of the deeply melodic, deeply conscious, deeply personal music.

This album just might catapult them to the crossover mainstream.

The eight songs are either from their routine playlist or new stuff that rose up on the spot in the cabin studio. Most uniquely, all of it’s based on melody, experimentation, and truth. “Sincerity is the absolute ripest playground for experimentation. The idea that the two are at odds is a myth. It’s all about balance,” Oluo explained. “The more you stretch to the experimental ends of music, the more you have to embrace the humanity of music. The taller the tree, the deeper the roots. The roots of this album go deep.”

“Want (within)” reflects the roots of soulful melody. Rawlings holds the key as Oluo makes his plaintive statement in tentative, rich notes, and Lewis draws from an almost military precision on the snare.

“Waking (without)” ventures into avant-garde territory as the form literally shakes, snaking around Oluo’s last vestige of sanity in his brassy, almost second line fatigue.

“The Lake” features percussionist Lewis and bassist Flory-Barnes laying down the emboldened jump tracks harkening the ska punk of No Doubt and Dance Hall Crashers until Rawlings comes in on his Beatles-esque Rhodes and Oluo on his trumpet slapping that ‘60s psychedelic rock vibe. Oluo then masterfully mashes the 1960s acid rock with the 1990s ska scene seamlessly.

“Shadow Boxing In The Wind” showcases Lewis as quite an inventive, offset percussionist, Oluo as a lyrical finisher on trumpet, and Rawlings as a Rhodes scholar, keeping that constant line, yet moving an undulating, untempered ‘70s situation forward in whirling skirmishes. This is Industrial Revelation at its best; one can only imagine the fiery lava of the band doing this live for way longer than 5:48.

“Color Of Caliman” starts off almost as a retro-re-issue, as spoken by one of the jazz masters from the golden era, come back to earth after a century to show the new and aspiring musicians what’s possible. Oluo conjures up the spirits of all the late horn masters in this wonderfully inspired, contemplative piece that dares speak on a gentle social platform.

The first single off the album, Flory-Barnes’ “Saying Goodbye (to rainbow socks and hair dye),” strikes off what the band refers to as an “obsessive melody” played on Oluo’s flugelhorn, while the others flit around the bass like fireflies. Mostly improvised on the spot in that cabin studio, it’s a sweet jewel box.

Is this strictly jazz? Who cares, it’s close enough, but more importantly, it’s a close approximation of the future of jazz in the use of stylistic influences, an abundance of shifting moods and conscience struggles, and always, that collaboration confluence. “It’s a jump-off. Even though we’re four albums deep, Oak Head is just the beginning,” Lewis promised. “With our earlier albums we were still growing, you know? Finding our focus. Now we can really get it going.”

Expect an Industrial Revolution. The band hits all the outside spots this month, including Eastlake’s Lofi Performance Gallery, 8 p.m., February 21, and Capitol Hill’s World of Beer, 7 p.m., February 22.

Get ready.