KOTO’s Doo-Dah Reaches 17 Years With the Help of Thievery Corporation
This Saturday marks the 17th installment of KOTO Community Radio’s Doo-Dah live music concert. Recent years have seen The Motet, Keller Williams, and Ziggy Marley, but this year the District of Columbia downtempo kings Thievery Corporation will do the honors of headlining. Although the fleshed out version of the band can reach up to 10 members, which is the form it will take in Telluride, the core members Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have also been known to put on exceptional DJ sets.
“When we play live as a band we are connecting with our original music, and it’s great to feel the interaction between the band, when touching on music that we created years ago, come alive in front of an audience,” explains frontman Garza. “DJ-ing is inspiring, too, because we find other people’s music that has nothing to do with Thievery. The possibilities with music are endless and all have beneficial experiences.”
Switching between performance formats isn’t the only facet of the group that is centered around pushing boundaries and experimenting. Often high profile collaborators are brought into the creative fold in order to take tracks and projects to the next level.
“In the studio different names will pop into our heads, and we will think, maybe someone like David Byrne will sound great on a track,” Garza recalls about the standout cut “The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter” off The Cosmic Game album. “He is one of our personal favorite artists, and a cool guy in general, so getting on the same page while working that track was great,” he says of the Talking Heads frontman who played in Telluride last month.
Now 18 years active, seven studio albums deep, and featured in countless compilations and even more solo projects, Thievery Corporation is an act that can pick and choose places like Telluride in which to perform their prized, live-band shows. “One of the highlights of where we are now is we don’t have to drive across the country in a van full of band members for months, but instead we play at The Greek, Red Rocks or Lollapalooza, and places like Telluride, which are among the most sought after venues in the country.”
The politically vocal Culture of Fear studio album, released in 2011, was the last offering from the group as a whole. The well-received project kept signature downtempo grooves and trademark organic instrumentations that continues to set the band apart, while not forgetting their tasteful electronic foundations. Much like peers in their genre such as Daft Punk, Garza speaks on a departure from their comfort zone with their next studio work, saying, “For the album coming out in January, titled Saudade, we will be touching on our love for bossanova, jazz, and old 60s soundtrack music. It will have all female singers. It will be beautiful and very lush, but it will not be what people expect given the popularity of electronic music right now.”
As for the show in Telluride, Garza offers closing thoughts: “There will be some new tracks in rotation for our set along with the throwback material, so keep your ears open.”
17th Annual KOTO Doo-Dah Featuring Thievery Corporation with Pimps of Joytime, Sat., Aug 24, Town Park, Telluride, 4 p.m, $35/$70, koto.org
David Baker Performs for Live DVD Recording in Ridgway
Western Slope resident musician David Baker was raised in Dallas and worked in the film industry as a studio engineer producing underscores for television spots on Disney and PBS. That’s pretty cool, but he came into his own as an musician in Nashville’s elite environs of singer/songwriters, and now continues his craft by collaborating with local Colorado artists from his home in Ouray.
Baker speaks on keeping the spirit of the 60s and 70s singer/songwriter alive in the modern era with his new project. ”It’s mostly new material, but I’ve taken a fresh approach to a few of my older songs that I’ve always wanted to revisit.”
“I’ve included a couple covers of my favorite John Denver tunes, and one over-the-top 70s rock song,” Baked elaborated. If you haven’t caught him live just yet, this Friday he will host a free live performance at Hartwell Park in Ridgway to support a new album. The live versions of the new tunes will be recorded by a camera team for a future DVD release. Good tunes, and you’ll forever be cemented into David Baker music history. It’s a win-win.
David Baker, Fri., Aug. 23, Hartwell Park, Ridgway, 7 p.m., no admission charge
Space Capone Lands On The Moon
As a precursor to the huge electronically charged downtempo and funk showcase in Telluride’s Town Park this weekend at the Doo-Dah, be sure to check out the groovy Space Capone on Friday night to set the pace. Bringing an uncanny and well done Michael Jackson tonality in lead singer Aaron Winters, this band instigates the kind of dance party music of the late 70s that should have never died. Funky horns (arranged by the guy that produced MJ’s records), syncopated drums, bouncing bass and pitch perfect R&B singing make this enigmatic act one of the sleeper bands of the Summer. As Winters puts it, “we arrived on this planet to help save people from bad music.” A noble mission indeed.
Space Capone, Fri., Aug. 23, Fly Me To The Moon Saloon, Telluride, 10 p.m., flymetothemoonsaloon.com