Logjam Presents

Galactic ft. Erica Falls

Already Ready Already Tour

Lyrics Born

The Wilma

Missoula, MT
Add to Calendar 03/21/2019 20:00 03/22/2019 01:00 America/Boise Galactic ft. Erica Falls

Logjam Presents is pleased to welcome Galactic live in concert at The Wilma on March 21, 2019. Tickets are on sale now at The Top Hat, online or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. All tickets are general admission standing room only. All ages are welcome. Additional ticketing and venue information can be found here. About Galactic Itʼs been more than 20 years since… Continue Reading

Logjam Presents - Missoula, Montana false MM/DD/YYYY
7:00PM (door) 8:00PM (show)
$26 (Adv.) $28 (DOS) + applicable fees
All Ages
Tickets Event Info

Logjam Presents is pleased to welcome Galactic live in concert at The Wilma on March 21, 2019.

Tickets are on sale now at The Top Hatonline or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. All tickets are general admission standing room only. All ages are welcome.

Additional ticketing and venue information can be found here.

About Galactic

Itʼs been more than 20 years since Ben Ellman, Robert Mercurio, Stanton Moore, Jeff Raines and Rich Vogel began exploring the seemingly limitless musical possibilities born out of their work together as Galactic. Since then, the seminal New Orleans band has consistently pushed artistic boundaries on the road and in the studio, approaching their music with open ears and drawing inspiration as much from the sounds bubbling up from their cityʼs streets as they do from each other.

A key part of that creative spark comes from the teamwork of Mercurio and Ellman, whose ever-evolving production and arranging skills helped usher the band into a new phase of studio work beginning with the loop-centric “Ruckus” in 2007. A series of albums focused around specific concepts like Carnival followed, as did collaborations with guests hailing from worlds outside the one Galactic calls its own.

On “Into the Deep,” the band members look within themselves instead, drawing inspiration from people and ideas that have long been close to their hearts – and, in turn, close to the development of their unique sound. Shot through with soul, funk, blues and rock, the result is an organic riff on elements of Galacticʼs past, filtered through the lens of where theyʼre headed in 2015.

“I see this album as a kind of culmination of all of our collaborations or experiences, from [trombonist] Corey Henry to the people we met on the road, touring,” says Mercurio, referencing Ellmanʼs first full-time gig in New Orleans, which kicked off when Henry hired him into the Little Rascals Brass Band in 1989.

“The previous albums took us in the opposite direction,” Mercurio says. “We collaborated with rappers that we had never dealt with and even on the New Orleans tracks, we didnʼt have working experience with most of those artists before the recordings.”

In contrast, “Into the Deep” contributors like JJ Grey, David Shaw and Maggie Koerner spent significant time touring with Galactic. A few years ago, Mavis Staples sat in with the band, all of whom are longtime fans of the legendary singerʼs R&B-meets-gospel soul style. They caught up with Macy Gray when she performed a memorable concert at Tipitinaʼs where Ellman says he could see from the outset “how much she cares about the music.” And each of the players had also developed a deep appreciation for the Honorable Southʼs Charm Taylor, whose contribution, “Right On” was written specifically to suit her vibe.

“Quint Davis [the producer of] Jazz Fest always has a couple people he books at the festival that arenʼt big names but that Quint knows are going to be super cool,” says Ellman. “Thatʼs how we met Brushy One-String. We originally wanted to bring him in to do anything, just to see what would happen. But when we heard his song ‘Chicken in the Corn,ʼ we really wanted to do our version of it.”

In the end, he joined them on the road for over a month, collaborating with the band onstage at each show.

For the instrumental tracks, Galactic mined the interests and tastes theyʼve cultivated together for years in New Orleans. “Buck 77” was written via improvisation, a long-standing cornerstone of their live shows. The funky bass line and tumbling guitar part on “Long Live the Borgne,” meanwhile, represents an updated, more composed take on some of the concepts that made early albums like “Coolinʼ Off” so strong.

As for the opener “Soogar Doosie,” Ellman points out Galactic tends to record at least one track on each album that speaks to the bandʼs collective love of brass band music.

“We write [those songs] with the idea of how awesome it would be to hear the Rebirth going down doing the street in a second line playing one of our songs. We try to think of a real second line song that would get people slapping stop signs and dancing on cars,” he says.

The album, Ellman says “is all about people. Itʼs these connections weʼve made over 20 years. Theyʼre people in our orbit that have come into our little world and affected us in some way.”

Itʼs also about how the individual musicians within Galactic have grown over time. When it comes to trying new approaches as players, producers, songwriters and arrangers, Ellman muses, “itʼs an evolution.”

Already Ready Already Tour

Lyrics Born

Lyrics Born live at the Top Hat on Sept. 23, 2018

The first thing you remember is the voice: that low, molasses-slow baritone that stretches into a long, humid Cajun drawl. Imagine that voice requesting a Mac Dre and a Main Source song. That voice asking to give a shout-out to a mythic crew called the Han Bodda Han Posse (proper spelling never confirmed), which definitively places that voice as yes, Bay Area. Finally, that voice giving you the name of the obscure sample the Geto Boys flipped for “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me.” And thereby winning the fifth on-air contest you’ve had in five weeks.

Something had to be done about that voice.

“Man, stop calling already,” you tell the voice. “You’re disqualified. You can’t win every time. Somebody else has to have a chance.” And then the laugh—that high-pitched semi-automatic ratatat, heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!

“Just come by the studio and hang out,” you say, ‘cause you’re thinking it’s actually a bit lonely broadcasting an after-midnight radio show into the darkness of the floodplain from Vacaville to Folsom prisons and all the suburban homes in between, and plus, who is this fool anyway?

So the second thing you remember is the dude showing up to claim his Grand Daddy I.U. single: NorthFace jacket, oversized white T, Girbaud jeans hanging past plaid boxers, Air Maxes. Wait. This dude is Japanese? With curly Sicilian hair? Walking with a John Wayne horse-lope swagger? Everything about him was outside the box. This dude was born to break molds and move people.

Since then, that dude, now b/k/a Lyrics Born, has released 9 albums, 8 mixtapes, done countless guest tracks and collaborations, and become one of the most successful touring acts in the rap game. He’s done it all indie. Some of that has been by default—the culture industry is still reluctant can and sell entertainers who look like LB. But his success has been all by design.

Tom Shimura was one of a star-crossed group of freshmen who arrived at the University of California, Davis in the fall of 1990, including the artists who would come to be known as DJ Shadow and Chief Xcel. I was lucky enough to be the college radio guy, and so I fell in with a crew (dubbed SoleSides after an Art Farmer song) that expanded to include the Gift of Gab, Lateef the Truth Speaker, Mack B-Dog, the filmmaker Joseph Patel, and others.

He had come up in Berkeley, California in the 1980s, where the stereotype was still of patchouli hippies passing out flowers and acid, but where the reality was kids burning police cars during annual spring riots, demonstrators in shantytowns protesting South African apartheid, crackheads and dealers all across the southwest side, and as he recalls it, “homeless guys fluent in 20 languages, blowing bubbles on the corner, painted in polka dots.”

Hip-hop was the new Bay Area counterculture. We knew because the hippies hated it. But it was inescapable. On weekends, graffiti crews did battle on middle-school walls two blocks from police headquarters. Telegraph Avenue was jammed with cars pumping trunk-smashing 808 bass tones. Ciphers of rappers, b-boys, and b-girls clogged the corner at Durant. Shimura learned all the words to “Rapper’s Delight” in the schoolyard before he heard the song on the radio.

It was the sound of the future, and he was already living in that future. Here was a hapa kid obsessed with Ninjaman and Shabba Ranks, 808s and slapback basslines, with an Italian-Jewish mom, whose best friend was Muslim and Jewish and Black. It gets no more polycultural than this. “When you’d go to parties, everyone was there,” he recalled. “I didn’t feel like what I was doing was that unusual.”

But after his first record, “Send Them”—which, in an adjectivally hysterical press release, I called “a fat Latin-ragga stomper”—he took to the stage like he had been born to be there, commanding shows with mic-ripping skills honed in raging late-night freestyle ciphers with the crew, and exuding audience-pleasing charisma, capping it all off with a wide winning smile, like “You didn’t know, right? Well, now you do.” That’s when he realized that who he was and what he was doing was a little different from the norm.

“Freestyle Fellowship and Hiero were coming out, so there was a lot of emphasis on originality, dominance, competition, and finding your own voice,” he said. “Maybe that’s where it comes from. I always feel like I have to get beyond my own limitations. Growth is mandatory.”

In those early years, he tested out different identities. He was Asia Born, then Lyrx Born. Maybe it didn’t make sense at the time to highlight the Asian thing when folks didn’t get it. He didn’t want to be counted out. And just like that first time he appeared in Freeborn Hall at the KDVS studios, he was too dope, too ultramagnetic, had too much to give to the people.
On early records like “Balcony Beach” and “Lady Don’t Tek No,” you can hear him become Lyrics Born with the help of the two who would become his closest and most important collaborators in the coming years—his soon-to-be wife Joyo Velarde and his rap partner Lateef the Truth Speaker. Not incidentally, both records also presented nuanced portrayals of desire, dignity, and equality, all themes that he would develop through his career. The expansive humanity in LB’s music comes from his basic insistence that relationships be shown in all their beauty and complications, deeper than a handful of words some use for gender or race.

With his first solo album, “Later That Day…”, LB powerfully found his voice. He captured the perfect balance between his avant-gardist concern for exploration and his populist desire to rock the crowd. Loosely a concept album, “Later That Day…” is about an everyday guy trying to make it through tensions with work, friends, and lovers, and finding some moments of clarity, humor, and happiness. “Later That Day…” also crystallized LB’s distinctive sound—melodic downtempo and propulsive minimalist funk, full of clean lines, tight rhythms, and bright hooks. It became one of the biggest indie records of the era, and he found himself rocking sold-out houses around the globe, including a hat trick of Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella all in a single year.

LB executes his projects in groups, working out a particular set of musical and conceptual ideas until they have reached their logical end. So “Same Shit, Different Day” and “Overnite Encore” completed a cycle in which he had begun with sample-based production and moved to working with DJs and bands. On “Everywhere At Once” and “As U Were”, LB drew deeper on early 80s Black radio for inspiration—One Way, Dazz Band, Teena Marie—and expanded the collaborations.

Over the years, he has appeared on dozens of tracks with hundreds of artists and taken up production duties for bands like Poets of Rhythm and Galactic. He calls himself a “serial collaborator,” but that is a typically modest way of putting it. His peers want to be in the studio with him not only because of his skill and work ethic. They trust him to make good things happen. Maybe it’s because of the way LB sees the world—success is about being true to yourself and to your relationships. Take care of that and you find lots of people moving in your time to your song.

LB says his songs are about “perseverance, surviving, turning the corner.” They are about “real people”, about love for the underdog. It’s axiomatic to him that even if someone is counted out, it never means they’re down for the count. It’s the classic American story. And in that sense, LB gets the last laugh after my (and a whole lot of other folks’) early disqualification of him: he won and he gave lots of other folks a chance to share in his triumph.4

All you have to do now is drop the needle, and get free.