By Alan Ranta
VANCOUVER – People are too concerned with safety. Playgrounds were better when they consisted of little more than surplus military training rigs and a child’s limitless imagination. They were more dangerous, no doubt, but scars and broken bones build character. You often learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes. Of course, one should maintain awareness, but don’t cave to the pressure to play it safe all the time, especially when it comes to music. Take a chance on something you’ve never heard before. Live dangerously, experience and grow.
J.I.D. & EarthGang
Mar. 10 @ Fortune
Dip into some surprising Atlanta flavors with this bottom-dropping double-headliner. The hip-hop/neo-soul duo of Johnny “Olu O. Fann” Venus and Doctur “Eian Undrai Parker” Dot (a.k.a. Earthgang) and cerebral rapper J.I.D. came up as part of the Spillage Village collective, and both subsequently signed with J.Cole’s Dreamville Records. Though it may be called the Never Had Sh!t tour, but the shit is what they have.
Mar. 10 @ Open Studios
A mainstay on John Digweed’s renowned Bedrock Records since he released his debut album, It Is What It Is, back in 2011, this Grecian DJ will house you smooth with intricately textured main stage ambiance or stomp the crap out of the dance floor with hard-hitting techno. Either way, you’re gonna feel something cathartic.
Mar. 22 @ Fortune
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Ella Vos is deep on that electro-pop tip. Her voice is as sweetly soulful and humbly uplifting as Sia, while her instrumentals typically glitter a mix of acoustic sounds such as guitar and/or piano with programmed percussion flourished by trap-like skitters and driving synthetic beats, perfectly cradling her delicate vocal melodies. She’ll hit you in the feels.
Epic Beard Men
Mar. 27 @ Venue
Providence wordsmiths B. Dolan and Strange Famous boss Sage Francis may never get the recognition they deserve as two of hip-hop’s all-time greats, but that failure is entirely on the music media. No one consistently constructs more meaningful and honest flows than Francis, while Dolan is the most visceral storyteller this side of Tom Waits. They are both masters of their craft, and fiercely independent. Put their bushy beards together, and it’s epic, man.
Mar. 31 @ VENUE
Don’t let the name fool you. Chinese Man is actually a French trip-hop collective, with the production core of Marseille Zé Mateo, High Ku and SLY often augmented by various other beatsmiths and rappers. Their latest record, 2017’s kaleidoscopic SHIKANTAZA, is touted as a “path to enlightenment.” Believe it.