Music Hall of Williamsburg
GZA performs Liquid Swords

Part of Northside Festival

GZA performs Liquid Swords

Grammy-winning Latin Funk Orchestra Grupo Fantasma, Brownout

Thu, June 14, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$30

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

GZA performs Liquid Swords
GZA performs Liquid Swords
When it comes to thought provoking, street-bred raw lyricism, the Wu-Tang Clan's fountain of wisdom, GZA takes his job very seriously. The way he crafts his double-edged rhyme flow mirrors the skill and precise technique of one who works with fine ceramics. GZA's metaphoric and multi-layered lyrics are often touted by critics as his rap name implies; genius.

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in every borough of New York City, The GZA's workmanship can be found three albums deep with classics dating back to 1991 including the albums Words From The Genius, the gold-selling Liquid Swords and Beneath The Surface. Before his days of microphone notoriety, GZA found himself, during the early ages of rap music, travelling throughout New York City sharpening his rap skills in scattered rhyme battles. "I've studied rap in every borough," the GZA says proudly. "I've been rhyming before a lot of these cats out here were born. We've [Wu Tang Clan] always drank, ate and slept hip-hop. I love it." On his latest blockbuster album Legend Of The Liquid Sword, The GZA makes reference to his hip- hop foundation on the reflective Fam (Members Only) "I grew up around B-Boys, DJs, MCs, through rap, never thinking in ways of TV," the Genius raps. "It was strictly all about magnificent rhyme clout."

During GZA's travels, he encountered other rap veterans that recognized his promise and helped to nurture his talent. "I watched a lot of people come up that are big now," Genius says earnestly. "I used to make demo tapes with cats that rocked with Russell Simmons and people like that. The history goes so far back; I've always been really focused on writing dope rhymes."

The GZA's dream of perfection has been realized once again on his fourth album to date. Legend Of The Liquid Sword not only regains the powerful momentum started by the last three releases, it adds to the Genius' verbal legacy with uncompromising integrity. Heat-seeking darts like the introspective, Auto Bio where GZA breaks down the elements of his life that created the man he is and the crime thriller Luminal.

What has always set The GZA apart from the ordinary is his ability to create complex images with simple context. In the same way it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, Genius assembles his words to create thousands of vivid pictures. "I don't like to just be simple," he explains. "Even though some of my stuff can seem simple at times, I like to write in a way that when you listen to it over and over again, you hear something new and it requires you to think." Legend Of The Liquid Sword does just that. Whether the listener gets captured by the vocal acrobatics of Santi White (who has written songs for Res) on GZA's Stay In Line or the authentic old school soul production on the masterpiece Animal Planet, Genius weaves satisfying brain food through his lyrics. In his phenomenally cerebral use of metaphors, The Genius flawlessly equates human city dwellers to animals in the jungle on Animal Planet, which was produced by rhythm doctor Bink (who has produced heavyweight joints for Fat Joe, Nate Dogg, Mr. Cheeks and Faith Evans). With beats by fellow Wu Tang brother RZA, Jaz-O (Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt album), DJ Muggs (who has produced for Cypress Hill, Mobb Deep), Wu producer Mathematics (Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Sunz of Man), Arabian Knight and other sonic masterminds, GZA's talents come across even heavier. On the adrenaline raising Hip Hop call to arms, Knock, Knock (the album's shining debut single), The GZA asks on the chorus, "knock, knock, who the f*** is banging at my door, is it abstract, commercial or hardcore?" In his signature way of ill rhyme construction, GZA further defines the parameters of what rap music should be.

Don't call GZA's comeback just a comeback, it's a return of an entirely revolutionary thought process. "When we did Back In The Game on the Wu-Tang Iron Flag album, I did a verse about gambling," he explains solidly. "I didn't want to be 'back in the game' or 'back on the block,' that's typical. I made it all metaphorical." It's those same metaphors that makes the Genius' liquid sword a living legend in it's own time.
Grammy-winning Latin Funk Orchestra Grupo Fantasma
Grammy-winning Latin Funk Orchestra Grupo Fantasma
Grupo Fantasma is an eleven-piece, Grammy Award winning Latin funk orchestra from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2000 from the merger of two Austin acts, The Blue Noise Band and The Blimp, the band emerged with a sold out show at the former Empanada Parlour in Austin. The band is best known for their exuberant live shows and their recent association with Prince and his 3121 Club in Las Vegas. The band has backed Prince on numerous occasions, including his performance on the ALMA Awards in 2007, and often perform at his afterparty jam sessions. The ensemble has sold more than 20,000 albums independently.

Grupo Fantasma has twice played the Austin City Limits Music Festival and taped an episode of the popular Austin City Limits TV Show on PBS, which first aired November 17, 2007. They have also performed at such festivals as the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Calgary Folk Music Festival and have headlined numerous SXSW showcases in their career. The also played at the inaugural South Padre International Music Festival in 2007. The band performs relentlessly, regularly doing over 150 performances a year. Their horn section has also made various appearances on worldwide releases and has recently been performing with indie rock band Spoon. Grupo Fantasma's music was featured prominently in the NYC Cable Public-access television cable TV show, The Unbelievable Show from 2001–2004. The group's album Sonidos Gold was nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for the 51st Grammy Awards. Grupo's album El Existential was awarded the Grammy for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards two years later.

Grupo Fantasma’s songs “Chocolate,” “Barretta” and “Perso Fra/Mesquites” were featured in Showtime’s “Weeds” season 6 premiere episode which debuted on August 16, 2010.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/