BLK JKS with SEAN BONES at the Pike Room

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 22, 2009
doors at 8PM
tickets: $10 (buy tickets)

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BLK JKS defy description. With a wrecking crew rhythm section, debonair vocals, and guitar concoction of one part shred and two parts soul, BLK JKS shoot an African music sensibility through the tenets of rock. On one hand it is easy to politicize BLK JKS; as seen on the cover of Fader, here is a band that is instantly young, black and fly even as they reclaim styles that have been stolen, watered down, and regurgitated for generations. And yet to get caught up in anything but their sound is to sell this phenomenon short, because as musiciansas artistsBLK JKS simply cook. The bands fresh, forward rhythm, layered harmony and elliptical guitar vernacular reveal the urban Zulu blues of mbaqanga that is the center of BLK JKS songwriting. Teaching themselves guitar on the same block where they both grew up, childhood friends Linda and Mpumi formed the band in 2000, and early BLK JKS shows garnered attention for their stacks of guitar drone and headnodding beats. After the bands current lineup took shape with the addition of bassist Molefi and drummer Tshepang, both of Soweto, they embarked on a heavy touring schedule throughout South Africa that earned them a national following.

Originally from Johannesburg, the now US-based BLK JKS captures their progressive psychedelic dub rock roots perfectly in their new song ‘Molalatladi’, (meaning ‘rainbow’). This is the first track off their upcoming debut album, After Robots, produced by Brandon Curtis from Secret Machines. The nine-track album will be out on September 8 on Secretly Canadian. Considerably faster and more frenetic than their previous single ‘Lakeside’, ‘Molalatladi’ hints at further advancement for an already extremely eclectic and forward-thinking band. Think TVOTR but even more colourful and adventurous, a less sullen, more celebratory take on art rock.

With SEAN BONES: a twist of many things: indie aesthetic, chilled pop, and most notably, the distinct sound of reggae. But none of it correctly identifies the subtle charm of Sean Bones and his solo debut, which seems to float somewhere down the river in ninety-degree heat with lemonade in hand. And don't be fooled by the laid back demeanor; Sullivan (a.k.a. Bones), spent many hours working to make this record happen. This is an escape, a fantasy made possible by the versatility of Bones multi-faceted interests, an adventure in the possibilities of genre bending.

 

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