Sunday, June 6, 2010

URB Alt 2010

Its back for the 5th year in a row, the URB Alt Festiavl is barreling down on us to bring great music and art to the Masses. Last year was a treat as I got to see French group Paris Suit Yourself take and American stage for the first time along with seeing the awesome collective that is the MuthaWit Orchestra, and a whole host of other arts and artist. To fill you in about the upcoming events I took a minute to shoot over some questions to the main man behind the scene of both Muthawit and the UBR Alt Festival Boston Fielder.

-Boston Fielder, ironically in a field. Picture by Yams

Kaos Blac: For starters can you clarify for those the meaning of Urb alt, for those not in the know.

Boston Fielder: ALT means Underground Railroad Broadcasting Alternatives. It's a production company and philosogy I've had a for a number of years that initially focused on bringing multi-cultural artists/thinkers from the South to the North for exposure business opportunties through various means. Over time its expanded to a much more global outreach thanks to the internet and other accessible technologies.

Kaos Blac: What do you have in store for use this year, has there been any major changes in the formats of the events.

Boston Fielder: URB ALT Festival 2010 is going to be our coolest year yet, man. The theme is 5: 5th Anniversary, 5 dates, 5 different venues and 5 artists per event. Our goal each year is to add another artistic medium along with the musical offerings. Last year we were really visual arts intensive with a cool art exhibit(photography, comics, painting, etc.) at The Harlem School of the Arts. Film is the big push for 2010 so we're premiering 2 movies at the hip 92Y Tribeca including "Phlo," a horror/psychodrama and "Matty's Rocket," an animated sci fi short. Dude, we're going to roll out the Black carpet for that event. lol

Kaos Blac: What is best part about URB Alt that sets it apart from other summer music and art events.

Boston Fielder: We put so much effort into our lighting, video projections and sound design that I honestly think the URB ALT Festival is the best looking/feeling festival around. I am thankful for our visual production team everyday. The artists who play or display their work at the URB ALT Festival are seldom alike. Seriously, on the surface who'd think that Faith or Dearling Physique or Farai Chideya or Leila Adu would be anything but a fragmented bill? The tone of each act is so incredibly different. What makes it feel right, however, is that each artist focuses on presenting their vision unfiltered and with a high caliber of musicianship/craftsmanship. Honesty and maturity is the connecting thread. Not in the sense of some tired age-based ideal but in that they've found their unique voice. We don't curate around a generational, national, gender or racial palette. As the primary producer and an artist myself I feel it's most important to find artists who balance accessibility with the avant garde then get out of their way. I believe fully in every creator that is featured at URB ALT and don't make value judgements around who's hot at the moment although it never hurts to have artists who draw well. The reality is that underground artists need audience support to become mainstream artists and established mainstream artists need open-minded vehicles to remind them why they got into the music business in the first place. It's a dual dance going on...the artist tangoing between the need to be free of expectations and the need to connect to an audience. That's life right?

Kaos Blac: Will you be performing any new material with MuthaWit?

- MuthaWit Performs June 25th

Boston Fielder: Our new album "Men & Women or la Revenge de Uncle Baldy" is released on June 19, Day 2 of the festival so we're feeling pretty combustible about that. MuthaWit live shows always feature new songs and different players with the orchestra contracting and expanding constantly but it's the improvised moments that keep me doing this. Dude, have you ever seen us perform? For shame if you haven't!

Kaos Blac: What is one of the most talked about aspect of this years Urb Alt event?

Boston Fielder: I suppose the elements of URB ALT Festival 2010 that I'm hearing lots about is Jneiro Jarel playing a VERY rare live show,

- Jnerio Jarel plays June 18th

The movies premieres, the Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" tribute at Galapagos and the idea that we're finally having another outdoors date for the fest. Hate to lose the lighting possibilities but this year it just seemed fitting to play under the sun. I look forward to what all of our artists do and to meeting folks who come out. It always feels like a crazy global family reunion.

If the wait is to long to hold out till the festival opens check out this snid-bit Boston supplied of the new MuthaWit material,
Wasted (Fill My House With Salt)


June 18-URB ALT Launch. ATribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Harlem School of the Arts
645 St. Nicholas Avenue Harlem, NY
$10 Cover - 7:30pm
Live performances in order of performance:
MiLO – LA Art Rock Band that pinches a darkly elegant mood out of minimalist sound.
Dearling Physique – Minneapolis electro/rockers toy with pop, dissonance and musical theatre.
Jneiro Jarel – Dr. Who Dat? transports in from Viberia with his Low End Electro/Hip Hop musical innovations.
MuthaWit – Cosmic improv, dirty classical strings and ethereal rock tonalties mosh up the African Diaspora.

June 19-Saint Nicholas Park
St.Nicholas Avenue @ 135th Street Harlem, NY
FREE SHOW - 2pm-7pm
Live performances in order of perfomance:
Stoni Taylor & Miles of Stone - Atlanta soulSANGER and co-hort of Indigo Girls brings his own rock thang from the Peach to the Apple
Ben Tyree – Avante Garde guitar virtuosity with a punk edge
Uninterrupted ft. Moon – Washington, DC’s RAWKINGest rock band featuring Moon
Twin Shadow – Former Madman Films frontman leads his new electro dance rock band signed to Grizzly Bear Chris Taylor’s Terrible Records.
Faith – New York LES reggae/alternative rock legends featuring force of nature Felice Rosse

June 24-Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" 40th Anniversary Tribute
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street Dumbo(Brooklyn), NY
$10 Cover night of show or $5 in advance with the special code “Bitches Brew”, Tickets online - 7:30PM
Live performances in order of performance:
Art Terry – London multi-instrumentalist legend who twisted pop/soul/baroque songs are layered with pathos and humour like his former bandmate Stew(of Passing Strange).
Oh My Goodness – Wiggy lyricist mashed into a potato of dadaist beat-smithery pushes pop music boundaries.
Urb Alt Orchestra – Specially organized group of some of NYC’s finest improvisers pay homage to Miles Davis’ classic “Bitches Brew”
Hosted by Monique “The Original Gata” Dupree
June 25th at 92Y Tribeca

June 25-92nd Street Y
200 Hudson @ Canal Street Downtown New York, NY
$10 Cover, Tickets online - 7:00PM - Wear White!
Film Screenings:
Matty’s Rocket(animated sci fi short) – Adventure of space-facing heroine that fuses the post WWI jazz age(prohibition, gangsters, blues, Pan-Africanism and baseball) with extraterrestrials and, of course, rocketships.
Phlo(live action feature film) – Love and horror meld as the Jiminez family flirts with immortality and a primeval blood lust.
Live performances in order of performance:
Leila Adu – New Zealand’s Ghanaian/Brit singer of electronic, jazz, pop, blues, avant garde music kickstarts the piano with rock songs from her current Steve Albini produced album Dark Joan
MuthaWit Orchestra – MuthaWit expands to 15+ musicians with hulking guitar riffs, soul induced goose bumpery, classical strings, free jazz skronk and bonker electronics.

Attend 3 out of 5 events and be entered into a drawing for giveaway of 3 Daisy Rock Guitars, a drum kit, free subscriptions to alternative magazines AND the opportunity for a performance by MuthaWit or other participating artists in your home(or other private venue).

URB ALT Festival 2010 is proudly sponsored by URB ALT Media, Odd Endeavors, BigHead Scientists, Daisy Rock Guitars, 4961 Polemics, Sweatshop Recording & Rehearsal Studios, Ed Marshall Photography, Purple Magazine, and Grungecake Magazine.

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