Friday, June 18, 2010

B-Side Players + Passafire: Friday, June 18, 2010 - 9:45 PM - close

The B-Side Players are part of a new movement in popular music, a band that honors the international cross-pollination that has always made music the universal language. They use any beat that catches their ear, regardless of geography or genre, to create a compelling, horn driven, polyrhythmic groove. “The root of all pop music is African,” says Karlos Paez, the band’s lead vocalist, trumpet player and founder. “Our sound acknowledges that fact. That’s why the music is so soulful. We’re playing the ancient beats that came from Africa to create reggae, son, Afro-beat and funk and mixing ’em all together.”

The band has been laying down their own inimitable global funk since they came together in 1994. Their incendiary live shows made them local legends, while their albums showcased a band with a restless musical intelligence, effortlessly blending genres to fashion their own forward looking, Latin flavored, future-funk.

Fire In The Youth was produced by the band with the help of Quetzal Flores, leader of the Los Angeles band Quetzal, another group with a wide-ranging style based in the Latin American continuum. “Quetzal performed all the guitar tracks on the record,” Paez explains. “His eclectic arrangements helped polish our Latin, Mexican, Cuban, Funk and Rock vibe. He also brought a folkloric feel to some of the tracks with his knowledge of Jarocho (a syncopated Afro/Spanish style from Vera Cruz, Mexico) and bajo sexto ( a 12 string instrument with a sound somewhere between 12-string guitar and acoustic bass.) We recorded the whole record in 10 days, live in the studio, then added the vocals, percussion and horns.”

Like their past recordings, Fire In The Youth captures the band’s scorching musicianship and fierce political energy. The album kicks off with “Alegria”, an earth shaking reggatron groove marked by a strong salsa flava. “(Unplug) This Armageddon” rides a high stepping disco funk backbeat while Paez delivers a sizzling Bob Marley-influenced vocal full of soul and sufferation. The song explores the lives of the people that drift from San Diego, to Tijuana, to Los Angeles in search of a better life. The band suggests a return to the Earth and community as an antidote for the technology that seems to be sucking the soul out of modern life. “Fire In The Youth” combines a subtle trip hop pulse, a hint of more reggae, a lush string section and a children’s choir to offer a prayer for the salvation of the next generation. It’s one of the most moving songs the band’s ever recorded.

Saint Rocke
142 Pacific Coast Hwy
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 372-0035