Kenneka Cook, Illiterate Light

Kenneka Cook

Illiterate Light

Piranha Rama, Shagwüf

Thu, March 22, 2018

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

$8.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

Kenneka Cook
Kenneka Cook
Kenneka Cook has always loved outer space.

Growing up in Richmond, VA, she was obsessed with the moon, staring out her window at the night sky in awe of its mystery. The title track on Cook’s debut record Moonchild, set for a February 23rd release on American Paradox, is both a product of her intense connection with the cosmos, as well as a tribute to the embracing of celestial feminine energy. Musically, Cook bridges the gap between beat-driven sonics and melodic jazz in a brazenly colorful and tonally rich debut album.

Cook’s early training took place in her church choir and school chorus. Her tastes eventually shifted towards heavyweights like Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu, and The Cardigans, informing her confidently playful, harmony-heavy, atmospheric style. Initially she was making acapella songs with a microphone and laptop during the end of her college career out of necessity, describing her voice as “the only instrument I truly had access to” at the time.

She discovered the process of live looping through Reggie Watts, who sometimes uses looping techniques in the songs found in his comedy acts. She covered the jazz standard “Night and Day” using the technique and it turned out better than she ever could have hoped. From there, she began to fully explore creating music and on the new album, she welcomes a variety of live players into the fold to flush out and widen the unique sound she created on her own.

Moonchild is a glimpse through Cook’s lens, exhibiting heartfelt lyrics and melodic themes on spirituality, technology, and social interaction. The album opens with serious meditations on the state of human connection (“My Universe”, “Don’t Ask Me”) and finds its way to a fun-as-hell-take on the now-classic “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” by Vampire Weekend. “Please” transforms a conversation between Cook and her mother into a soft hymn, and “Brings Me Back (111)” depicts the mutual beckoning of soulmates.

There’s a DIY backbone here too, as the album was recorded entirely in producer Scott Lane's living room, transformed into a makeshift studio that was regularly set up and torn down. It was recorded this past summer over 3 months time, and features players Devonne Harris (piano/Butcher Brown), Kelli Strawbridge (drums/Kings), Caleb Knight (drums/Sammi Lanzetta), Chris Speasmaker (piano/The Congress), Andrew Sisk (drums/Angelica Garcia), Marcus Tenney (trumpet/Foxygen), Russell Lacy (guitar/Mikrowaves), Sid Kingsley (saxophone/Sid Kingsley), Jared Pool (mandolin/Larry Keel), and Scott Lane (production/engineering).
Illiterate Light
Illiterate Light
Illiterate Light is an Experimental Indie Rock Duo coming out of the strange house show and social justice communities of Harrisonburg, VA. Singer/Guitarist/Bassist Jeff Gorman and Drummer/Singer Jake Cochran met in 2010 at a Flaming Lips concert and quickly jumped into the local music scene together, splitting time between organic farming and touring with several bands by bicycle. Formed in the summer of 2015, Illiterate Light was shaped using the confines of the duo line-up to push new creative avenues of expression; Gorman and Cochran shift from producing a huge rock sound to quiet and off-beat moments of vulnerability at the drop of a peach. Both members share a love of songwriting and recording structure, as well as a desire to make each live performance a visceral and memorable experience.
Piranha Rama
Piranha Rama
It's like a party with a bite
Shagwüf
Shagwüf
Imagine Star Wars, Waynes Wolrd and Spinal Tap had a three way and made a rock n roll baby...Shagwüf is born. Stylistically they are reminiscent of LA's 'X', heavily influenced by Pixies while high kicking towards the punk end of the hard rock spectrum. Shagwüf thrashes with just the right amount of hard blues and psychedelia to invoke early metal pioneers like Sabbath with a slightly twangy, swampy edge that is sure to keep your head banging. “Sally Rose has all the charisma of a rock ‘n’ roll star paired with the grit and charm of an old-fashioned Southern [pin up]. A woman of various musical incarnations (The Sally Rose Band, Lady Stardust) she brings attitude and solid chops to the bass in [Shagwüf]” (Cville Weekly). Along with her sultry vocals and song writing prowess, Sweet Pete Stallings (Lost Indian, Secret Ninja) lends his quirky songwriting along with his signature fuzzed out, lovingly scuzzy guitar tones. The two of them provide a rambunctious chemistry that draws the crowd up close and personal with back bends and sweaty head locks. Ivan Christo (Jaguardini, Pelacanesis), the newest addition to the stoner-metal troupe, throws in trippy, synthetic, phaser-pop infused keys to turn the power trio up to 11. Percussionist Pablo Olivieri (Pablo & The Dregs, The Findells) attacks the drums like a Argentine love child. Pablo's ferocity is compelling with his use of the pink tambo, giant yellow maraca & empty beer bottles.
Shagwüf's debut EP 'Heavy Petting' is infectious. Although it's hard to pick from an EP full of great riffs, highlights include 'Swamp D' and the slinky rocker 'Cassolette'. Jordan Smith the front man of Diarrhea Planet exclaimed, “Shagwüf is the most exciting and unique band I've seen in years”. This gutter-glam group is recording a full length record at Montrose in RVA with producer Adrian Olsen of Avers. After this summer's “Heavy Petting Tour” all up and down the east coast, Shagwüf is ready to release the beast on the new album. Stay tuned, stay hungry.
Venue Information:
Strange Matter
929 West Grace Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://strangematterrva.com/