For those who have been following the House of Blues New Music Nights competition (powered by Sonicbids), the results are in: L.A.’s Brian Buckley Band took the most pledges. Congrats to them. All that’s left now is the best part – the showcase. Each of the participating House of Blues Venues (L.A., Las Vegas and San Diego) are showcasing three local bands followed by the Brian Buckley Band as a reward for receiving the most pledges. The San Diego showcase is going to be spectacular. It’s on July 11. We’ve got three excellent bands, hand-picked by the organizers of San Diego IndieFest, and me.
Here is my impression of each, based on their Sonicbids electronic press kits (EPKs).
San Diego is not really known for its hip-hop scene, but believe me, there is vibrant one bubbling just beneath the surface. And rising to the top of that scene is hip-hop and spoken word specialists, theBREAX, which has a sound, style and quality of production that set them above the rest.
Consisting of two former Baltimoreans and an Armenian refugee, theBREAX is instantly identifiable as the real deal. I couldn’t tell you who their influences are since I’m not—you know—them, but atop the ice cream sundae that is their music I hear plentiful sprinkles of Jurassic 5, Saul Williams, Black Sheep, Boogie Down Productions and Michael Franti.
What I like best about theBREAX—aside from their incandescent beats and the different cadences of the various lead vocalists— are the lyrics, which are smart and genuine and range between funny, serious, uplifting and angry–sometimes all in the same song (though not in the bad way).
On their EPK, they write that they, “decided to make music that could help change the world.” I find that choice of words to be refreshing because, unlike many hip-hop bands with “socially conscious content,” theBREAX are not so full of themselves as to believe their music will change the world, only that it could “help” change it, that it is part of a movement toward change and not the movement itself. I like that: high goals, moderate ego. I don’t often make lofty predictions, but I think these guys might go big, as in nationally big, which would be excellent because it would finally put San Diego hip-hop on the map.
P.S. The spoken word is kickass too! (more…)