The Catalyst

Blue Scholars

Live in the Atrium

Blue Scholars

The Physics, Brothers From Another

Fri, December 7, 2012

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Catalyst

Santa Cruz, CA

$14 in advance/ $17 at the door

Off Sale

This event is 16 and over

Live in the Atrium

Blue Scholars
Blue Scholars
Filmmakers create movies. Bloggers report the news and shape public opinion. Explorers travel the globe, seeking out new cultures and sharing experiences. DJs and producers craft beats and tracks using an alchemical mix of audio artifacts and imagination. Rappers fashion rhymes and navigate the cadences of vocal delivery characterized as "flow."
Blue Scholars do all these things—and a hell of a lot more—every damn day. First and foremost, DJ/producer Sabzi and MC Geologic are a music group. They do the fundamental things bands have done for decades: Make records and play live shows. But those are just points on a plane, bright stars in Blue Scholars' ever-expanding universe. "It all revolves around using everything at our disposal to be good storytellers," says Sabzi. Chuck D famously likened hip-hop to CNN, but frankly, Blue Scholars make Anderson Cooper and company look lazy by comparison.

Blue Scholars informally call their music "cinema art rap," yet most folks will probably just hear it as smart 21st century pop. The duo is just as likely to take inspiration from the sugar rush of Empire of the Sun's feel-good hit "Walking on a Dream" (check out the "Empire Remix" of "New People") as from a classic Lalo Schifrin soundtrack. The roster of former Seattle Sonics or observations about Fox New commentators may provide the springboard for their next round of poetic musing.

Meanwhile, Blue Scholars are constantly churning out new missives as quickly as the inspiration hits them, disseminated via the Internet. Whether provoked by current events like the passage of Arizona's Immigration Law SB1070 ("Joe Arpaio," credited to Geo's alter-ego Prometheus Brown), or contemplating how the Future went from a sparkling wonderland of flying cars and personal jet packs to a post-apocalyptic wasteland shot in shades of ash and bone ("Paul Valéry"), Blue Scholars react to real events in real time—with music that sounds fresh because it is.

Since 2002, Blue Scholars have been based in the 98118, decreed the most ethnically diverse zip code in America by the 2010 Census. Like the greater Seattle region, that neighborhood embodies the multi-cultural miasma that spawned Blue Scholars, the joining of forces between an Iranian DJ/producer and a Filipino rapper. These are dudes who nourish their bodies with Vietnamese coffee, Ethiopian injera, and steaming bowls of phở. Thanks to music, they have mingled with guests at a party hosted by renown glass artist Dale Cihuly, and conducted workshops at a Colorado juvenile detention center.

"I feel very lucky," admits Sabzi. "So many people are in their own fishbowl, thinking they know what the world is, but never get the opportunity to see anything beyond their immediate environment. We've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to establish real human connections with people we've discovered aren't really any different from us, because music has broken down the superficial barriers that would otherwise keep us apart."

Blue Scholars actively contribute to the global community of artists and freethinkers in myriad ways. Drawing on Jamaican dancehall culture and the increasingly popular medium of artist mix tapes, Sabzi makes the instrumental foundations of all their songs available as individual riddims, to be adopted and adapted by whomever cares to use his beats. Meanwhile, every time they hook up with another artist, be it Seattle rapper Macklemore (Sabzi's reworking of his Emerald City celebration "The Town" extended the shelf life of an already hugely popular joint) or Los Angeles' Bambu, their network expands. New fans find Blue Scholars via new points of entry, and in turn, Blue Scholars discover more fodder for their imaginations.
Towards that end, and meeting more kindred spirits in the real world, Sabzi currently divides his time between New York and Seattle. How has that impacted Blue Scholars' creative process? Not at all. Even as students at the University of Washington, where they first met and began making music together, Sabzi and Geologic were using the Internet as an integral part of their routine. The former would make a beat, upload it to the server, his partner would download it and write rhymes… and then they'd record together. They do the same thing today, just across bigger geographical distances.

Since 2002, the duo has become renowned live show veterans, rocking over 400 shows with the likes of Kanye West, De La Soul, Nas, Common, and supporting such acts on tour Zion-I, Hieroglyphics, and the Coup on tour. They've also played labor organizing conferences and youth-run community center shows, the main stage at Sasquatch! (2006 & '08) and Bumbershoot (2006), and in 2007 headlined their own Northwest Hip Hop festival, "The Program," which sold out five nights in a row. Their discography includes the albums Blue Scholars (2004) and Biyani (2007), as well as the EPs The Long March (2005), Joe Metro (2007), BUTTER&GUN$ (2008), and OOF! (2009).
But enough about the past. What are Blue Scholars doing right now? Find out for yourself at www.bluescholars.com.
The Physics
The Physics
Representing Seattle's South End, The Physics are one of the region's most critically-celebrated hip hop crews. Real-deal brothers Thig Nat and Monk Wordsmith and Justo have been making music for well over a decade since their days at O'Dea High School. The group's evolution from a refreshing, promising rap trio to a sophisticated collective of lyricists, vocalists and musicians is a narrative of hometown pride. Beyond their considerable accomplishments and featured performances as a premier local act, it is the sound and vibe that The Physics lend to the city's sonic landscape that many say express Seattle at its finest.

The Physics first gained recognition with Future Talk (2007), an 15-track LP packed with hooks and candid raps that were both lively and laid-back. High Society EP (2009) marked the arrival of what has become The Physics' signature musical sensibility: classy, irreverent and catchy as all hell, followed by Three Piece (2010), which ventured into non-rap altogether.

In August 2011, the group released Love Is A Business, which ranked No. 1 on both KEXP's hip hop and variety charts for eight weeks, and has been recognized by media outlets like The Seattle Times, NPR, and BBC. The Stranger's Larry Mizell, Jr. wrote: LIAB "might well be one of the greatest ensemble works Seattle hiphop has produced, and it's undeniably one of the best things to come out of this town in years."

The Physics have performed at Sasquatch! (2012), South by Southwest (2011), Bumbershoot (2010, 2008), Capitol Hill Block Party (2010, 2008), and every major nightclub in Seattle. Last fall, they toured with Blue Scholars, garnering fans from Vancouver, Canada to San Diego, concluding with a sold-out show at New York City's Bowery Ballroom. Beyond the three core members, the Physics includes a four-piece band and the striking vocals of R&B duo Malice & Mario Sweet.

Tomorrow People, the third full-length album from the trio recently dropped on August 25, 2012. Getting back to straight raps, beats, and hooks, the LP will feature some of Seattle's best like Jake One, Sol, Grynch, Vitamin D, J. Pinder, and more. But The Physics continue to push genres. Stay tuned for the highly anticipated electro-hip hop-R&B Digital Wildlife coming by the year's end.
Brothers From Another
Brothers From Another
Brothers From Another (BFA) are grinding their way through the hard rock music scene one stop at a time. Quickly becoming one of the most popular road acts in years, BFA plays every show as if it was their last day on Earth. When BFA performs, it is a raucous display of powerful rock songs with unforgettable melodies. The raw energy radiating from the stage affects anyone with a lively spirit, and the songs stick in your brain like candy in your teeth. In 2002 while working with Grammy award winning producer Davif Ivory, drummer Ch.tei was involved in a near fatal electrocution accident. Currently BFA tours and records consistently throughout the year. Whether at home in the northeast tearing up stages or on the road cross-country, you'll see an animal show. BFA tours through the whole country and has quickly created followings in the NE, in the South, Texas, Southern California, and just about anywhere else they play.
Venue Information:
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
http://www.catalystclub.com/