MUSIC BOX: Rap icons De La Soul headline JHSM Party
If you grew up with a trusty jam box like I did, it’s likely that De La Soul flowed from the speakers at some point. Twenty-five years ago, De La Soul’s seminal debut LP, 3 Feet High and Rising, was released. The album is considered one of the most influential rap albums of all time, rivaled only by albums like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. It’s laidback cool while lyrically striving for peace and harmony, headlined by the hit “Me Myself and I.” What a score of an act to celebrate the ninth annual release of Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine.
The era of 1989 hip-hop was busting at the seams with aggressive acts like Public Enemy and N.W.A. and radio-ready tracks from MC Hammer and Young MC. De La Soul fell in the middle of this spectrum by offering a sample-heavy product that was at once comedic, playful and thoughtful. Variety in the form of syncopated drums, horns, mini skits within songs, children’s stories and counterculture symbolism all added up to instantaneous success for the Long Island trio. They were labeled the first hip-hop hippies.
Remarkably, group members Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove and Maseo met in high school and continue to produce quality output. The trio has released eight studio albums through 2009. In 2006, after previously being nominated for three Grammys throughout its career, De La Soul collaborated with Gorillaz for the Grammy-winning single, “Feel Good Inc.” This past Valentine’s Day, it delighted the world in the best of ways by putting its entire Tommy Boy-released discography up for free download for 24 hours.
De La Soul performs for Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine’s annual party, 9 p.m. on Sunday at Pink Garter Theatre. $40-$60. PinkGarterTheatre.com.
’Coach culture at the Center
The Stagecoach Bar is a place of mountain folklore. It’s the last genuine, non-glorified, dive-y link to Jackson Hole’s watering hole history of cowboys, ski bums and disco dancers. Gather with your neighbors to experience “A Western Winter’s Eve,” featuring all things ’Coach. First, the legendary Stagecoach Band will celebrate 45 straight years by playing country-Western to a devoted following of two-steppers (6 to 7:30 p.m.). Next, JenTen and the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum presents the ’Coach film: The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads (7:30 to 8:30 p.m.). The evening will close with disco on the Center Theater stage with The Spartan of WYOBASS (8:30 to 10:30 p.m.).
(Check PlanetJH.com to read the Feb. 18, 2009 issue featuring a Q&A with Stagecoach Band co-founder Bill Briggs.)
A Western Winter’s Eve with The Stagecoach Band, The ’Coach film, and disco night, 6 p.m. on Friday at Center for the Arts. $15. JHCenterForTheArts.org.
Leftover Salmon grows a Payne
Adding a legendary player to an already storied band does one thing – up the ante. It’s not as if Leftover Salmon needed a lineup refresher. They did, after all, take an eight-year hiatus before coming out of the gates again a couple of years ago in brilliant form. Seemingly reborn with 2012’s Aquatic Hitchhiker, the band is pushing the limits once again with fiery improvisations and a revived energy that substantial time away can often generate.
With the addition of Little Feat co-founder Bill Payne tickling the ivory, there will be an added sense of elegance and experience on the stage. The heady mix of feel-good tunes is sure to feel even better.
Throughout their notable career, Salmon has played with a number of keyboardists including Pete Sears and Bill McKay, but Payne is a special treat from all angles. To this fan, he’s the ultimate rock keyboardist. A master on B3 organ, piano, or even his synth ingredients within the Feat’s jazz-fusion experimentation such as “Skin It Back” – all timeless and monumental. I can’t wait to see what he does with some of Salmon’s classic Cajun slamgrass.
Leftover Salmon with Bill Payne, 10 p.m. on Wednesday at Knotty Pine in Victor ($25, 208-787-2866), and 9 p.m. on Thursday at Pink Garter Theatre ($25-$28, PinkGarterTheatre.com).