MUSIC BOX: Double Dub and Keyed-up Piano

By on April 26, 2016

Easy Star All-Stars and Tatanka reggae it up, while BYU-Idaho hosts Alpin Hong.

Easy Star All-Stars put rock classics to reggae.

Easy Star All-Stars put rock classics to reggae.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – We all have those certain albums from our younger days that coexist with moments in our lives. They connect us to a generation, and years later those same songs are now timeless reminders of how good it can get. When all the stars line up to produce such a work of art, it can be invigorating as a musician to become intimate with the compositional elements of a masterpiece.

New York City-based Easy Star All-Stars have made a name for themselves by putting a reggae spin to some of the greatest albums of all time—Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead’s Ok ComputerSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Dub Side of the Moon is one of the most popular reggae albums of the last decade and has led the band to six different continents while establishing an international following.

I probably had heard the entire album straight through, but I really can’t say for sure that I did. I wasn’t someone who said, ‘Hey, let’s go listen to Dark Side of the Moon right now,’” admitted Michael Goldwasser to Live Music Daily. He is a founding member of the band and produced Dub Side of the Moon. “I was somewhat skeptical at first because I didn’t get into making reggae music to do covers of classic rock albums. We figured the only way to really move into this space with any kind of purpose and legitimacy would be to take an entire album. The tempo to Dark Side Of The Moon is pretty laid back; a lot of reggae is too, so we didn’t have to take a big leap in tempo.”

Easy Star All-Stars originally formed as a collective of rotating musicians that provided backing to artists that recorded under the Easy Star record label, formed in 1997. They have released two studio recordings of original music—Until That Day EP (2008) and First Light (2011)—though the niche of recording and touring on well-established compositions had already taken hold.

Newer reggae jam band Tatanka has dominated download charts.

Newer reggae jam band Tatanka has dominated download charts.

Show opener Tatanka is coming up on the flip side of the coin. Following the 2010 release of Sounds in Technicolor EP, which has racked up more than 20,000 downloads, 2014’s self-titled debut took the Denver quartet to a new level. Tatanka rose to number one on the iTunes Reggae Chart and number four on the Billboard Reggae Chart, while the band earned a nomination for Westword Magazine’s “Colorado Reggae/Jam Band of the Year” in 2015. They often incorporate Caribbean influences along with electronic, dub and Brit-American reggae styles. Check out the group’s new single, “Rise.”

Easy Star All-Stars with Tatanka, 9 p.m. Friday at the Pink Garter Theatre. $20-$23. PinkGarterTheatre.com, 733-1500.

The physicality of music

Whether performing complex arrangements with one hand, using his knowledge of popular music for comedic effect, or engaging young students with classical music, animated pianist Alpin Young was born for the stage. His voltage is kept high, which explains his forays into extreme sports, martial arts, video games, and, of course, an extensive education in classical music. Among his accomplishments is an orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony in his native Michigan, a White House performance, and many competition victories including Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2001.

It’s not so much what he plays but how he plays it. Alpin Hong brings a physicality to the ivories that must be seen to be appreciated.

It’s not so much what he plays but how he plays it. Alpin Hong brings a physicality to the ivories that must be seen to be appreciated.

“I have been told that people have enjoyed watching me play as much as listening to me because of my movements,” Hong told The Press-Enterprise. “It’s interesting to note that some of my teachers and judges actually tried to suppress my physicality when I was younger, claiming that it distracted from the performance. But now people are drawn to my concerts because of them.”

Alpin Hong, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Barrus Concert Hall in Rexburg. $6 for BYU-Idaho students, $12 for general public. BYUI.edu/tickets, 208-496-3170. PJH

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

160427Music_PlanetPicks

WEDnesday
Open Mic Night (Wildlife Brewing in Victor)

FRIday
Easy Star All-Stars with Tatanka
(Pink Garter Theatre), Alpin Hong (Barrus Concert Hall in Rexburg),
Whiskey Mornin’
(Silver Dollar)

SATurday
Whiskey Mornin’
(Silver Dollar), WyKnotts
(Town Square Tavern), Switchback
(Bull Moose in Alpine)

SUNday
Stagecoach Band
(Stagecoach)

TUESday
Bootleg Flyer
(Silver Dollar)

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About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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