Lllama 2015: Meet the bands

Photo courtesy of eXquire
Photo courtesy of eXquire

MR. MFN EXQUIRE
Written by Zita Toth, Staff Writer

“I Ain’t Even Fuck Rihanna aka Mr. Lime-A-Rita Papi,” “Oh Hail No,” and “Killah Tofu”: these are only a few of the songs students may expect to hear from Mr. Mothaf***in’ eXquire during Llamapalooza 2015.

Mr. MFN eXquire is an American hop-hop artist from Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. He released his first mixtape in 2008 with a follow up in 2011, called Lost in Translation – “a versatile mixtape that introduced his science-fiction-loving, depressive, addictive persona to the world.”  His song “The Last Huzzah” was called one of the best songs of 2011 by Rolling Stone magazine. He ended up signing with Universal Republic Records in 2012 due to increased recognition in the music world.

eXquire’s first major label project was an EP entitled Power & Passion. The tape consisted of “angry celebrations, lugubrious slow burners, pulp pastiche and enjoyable offbeat miscellany, all over gritty beats.” eXquire demonstrated his skill at rapping. “To tell a story, you need to be able to concentrate all the way through,” said Pitchfork review Johan Bromwich. “And Power and Passion is blighted by a rapper who seems too distracted by his woes to sit down and write more than a couple of full songs.”

Early 2013 saw another release from eXquire, titled Kismet, with 16 new tracks. But on October 7, 2013, Universal Republic released eXquire from his contract. eXquire released a song the following year titled “I Ain’t Even F*** Rihanna aka Mr. Lime-A-Rita Papi,” in which he details his signing with a major record label and subsequent release, having accomplished little in the time spent. His latest release was a mixtape earlier this year on January 8, titled Live from the Danger Room, which is a compilation of unreleased tracks. We can be sure to expect a bold performance from Mr. MFN eXquire at Llamapalooza.

Photo courtesy of Phony Ppl
Photo courtesy of Phony Ppl

PHONY PPL
Written by Eliza Jacobson, Guest Writer

Last Friday on Yampa, the 2015 Llamapalooza lineup was announced and Phony Ppl were pronounced the headliners. The group originates from Brooklyn, New York and includes main members Elbee Thrie and Sheriff PJ on vocals, Elijah Rawk on lead guitar, Matt “Maffyuu” Byas on drums, Aja Grant on keyboard, and Bari Bass on bass guitar. Although some of the members of the group have changed, this group has been around since 2008.

Despite their seven-year history as a group, they are just now really hitting the scene. They played South by Southwest and released their newest album, “Yesterdays Tomorrow,” this past January. Since their debut album “Phonyland” came out in January 2012, Phony Ppl have been described as mixing different styles of music, throwing together influences from world music, jazz, funk, and classic hip-hop.

Their creativity and integration of many genres makes Phony Ppl the perfect candidates for Llamapalooza. Their music transcends boundaries of time, sounding contemporary yet old school. Musical influences are hard for them to identify because of the wide range of tastes of the many members of the band, but some artists they can all agree on are Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Jackson Jamiroquai, and Joao Donato, yet this is not a comprehensive list.

In an interview with Afropunk, Phony Ppl claim that their music is not made for any specific audience, it is really created for themselves. Yet they also feel that their fan base is older than they are. When speaking to deathandtaxes magazine, they describe their plan for influence over the hip-hop genre. “Our approach is to teach people that there is no genre, it’s just music, influence, creativity,” they stated in an interview. They lament that no one in hip-hop is really trying out anything new, that they are just “regurgitating” things that have been seen and done before, and that there has been a standstill in ingenuity.

Phony Ppl pose the potential for a very exciting future in the genre that most call hip-hop. Their refreshing view on the current state of music is exhilarating, with plans to change and diversify the industry. If you haven’t been exposed to them before, look them up before they perform on the main stage. Their songs are fun and catchy – you may have trouble getting them out of your head.

Photo courtesy of Netherfriends
Photo courtesy of Netherfriends

NETHERFRIENDS
Written by Eboni Statham, Staff Writer

“Is this blunt gluten free?” is just one of the important questions Netherfriends asks his audience. Reading his tweets will give you a good laugh and meeting him in person will do the same. Not too long ago, SOCC (Sounds of Colorado College) had an event where Netherfriends came to perform. Although the event was a bit under-attended, Netherfriends rocked the show as if thousands of people were there.

He spends the majority of his time touring and performing as much as he can. What is really the most intriguing is the fact that he is a one-man band. He plays the keyboard, the guitar, and does vocals and builds on these with a drum kit and a loop pedal. Originally having his beginnings in the indie-pop scene, he decided to have more of an interest in hip-hop inspired rhythms. Also, not to mention, many artists have tried but Netherfriends has successfully released a 50 songs 50 states project.

He quit everything and drove around the country for one year to write and record a song in every state, an impressive feat. Oh, and how could I forget, if you become friends with him, like Senior Han Sayles did, he’ll draw a picture of you wearing his shirt and add it to his ‘Ladyfriends’ gallery.

Photo courtesy of Kithkin
Photo courtesy of Kithkin

KITHKIN
Written by Zita Toth, Staff Writer

What is a Canadian treepunk, you ask? Kithin can probably tell you. Kithkin is a four-member band of recent college graduates that hails from Seattle, Washington. Drawing from the “mystical power” of the Cascadian wilderness and the “tree spirits within it,” Kithkin combines tribal drumming with energetic vocals to create pop music designed for moving and grooving. Their lyrics offer “stories about the struggle to keep moving forward in an increasingly screwed up world.”

“On stage, Kithkin allow the various spirits of the forest to inhabit their bodies. This typically results in profuse sweating due to involuntary spasmodic dancing and synchronized aerial maneuvers,” says the Kithkin website. “Kithkin creates percussive walls of sound in an effort to summon more spirits to the stage. This usually fails, and instead just provokes unruly crowd surfing and dancing from the audience (which Kithkin has come to terms with).” Reviewers point to a certain level of calculation in their “manic sets,” which consist of jubilant and uncontrolled energy.

According to some, Kithkin’s intent was to bring a punk-rock edge to the folksy rock sound that has become popular in the mainstream in the past few years. The band has worked with The Head and the Heart producer Shawn Simmons, to which some of this edge may be attributed.

Reviewer Owen R. Smith for the Seattle Times writes, ”Some bands are simply weird for the sake of being weird, but the deliberate, slow moves of the masked lead singer gave the performance an oddly ceremonial feeling. I couldn’t tell if we were supposed to be praying or perhaps preparing for indoctrination.” No matter the purpose, a unique performance is sure to come.

Photo courtesy of Moon Hooch
Photo courtesy of Moon Hooch

MOON HOOCH
Written by Eboni Statham, Staff Writer

“It would be really cool if Moon Hooch came for Llamapalooza,” said my friend a few months ago in our film class. I laughed and played it off because I had the superior knowledge at that time that they were indeed coming and knew people would be super psyched for them to perform. Moon Hooch, a Brooklyn based band, met while in college and immediately began performing in public in places all over New York and notably in New York City subway stations.

With three members playing many kinds of instruments such as drums, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone and the contrabass clarinet, they create what they describe as a mashup of jazz, rock, and EDM. They’ll surely provide sounds that will make everyone want to instantly dance. If you haven’t heard songs by them make sure to listen to “EWI” and “Number 9.”

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