Earlier this month, URB Magazine sent newly minted man on the street, Paulo Von Borries out on assignment to try and capture the people, sounds, and energy that would coalesce at the House of Blues (Los Angeles) upon the arrival of Thundercat & Flying Lotus.
“I was completely blown away by Thundercat’s child-like, playful, and disarming charm and his incredible musical dexterity,” Von Borries told us during his debrief. Thundercat hit the stage in a medieval dragon scale armor (a la Thor) decked out in a “crazy colorful mexican blanket looking poncho.” Sonically, Thundercat hit the crowd with what was described as “bottom heavy-funky baselines, beautifully complex jazz chords and blistering melody lead solos,” all on a custom six-string bass with a wide fretboard and upright bass fret spacing.
Lending to Thundercat’s avant garde, nay musical savant reputation, Von Borries went on to describe T-Cat’s charging and eclectic performance. ”I think he was channeling everybody from astral-funk-soul-jazz heaven, Alice Coltrane’s harp, Bootsie Collins, George Clinton, Parliament/Funkadelic, even some Squarepusher, playing EVERYTHING from psychedelic space jazz to rhythm and blues influenced, to baby-making slow jams, singing ACTUAL SONGS with very emotionally charged lyrics telling of candid, heart-felt, and honestly emotive stories to straightforward and upfront funk disco, all the way to some intense punk rock moments.”
For all intents and purposes, the audience was left in a heap, as if they had just experienced a military shock and awe campaign as committed by T-Cat, his drummer, and keyboardist. And yet, Flying Lotus was still to come.
If Thundercat was Duke, commanding an army of GI Joes disguised as musical notes on the ground, Flying Lotus was General Hawk, commanding from behind the lines. ”He performed most of it hiding behind a giant semi-translucent projection screen set up in front of him…. it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz HIDDEN behind the curtain!” The audience got glimpses here and there of Flylo during his show when the projection provided illumination for his silhouette as he sonically commanded the audience. When the ‘wizard general’ decided to let his presence be known, it was under the guise of Captain Murphy, “rapping with pitch shifted voice and joined by Thundercat to spit some rhymes.”
Von Borries left our recap debrief with the following, “I feel blessed and grateful to have been there.” Then, Destro drove by in a hiss tank and kidnapped him.
For more information:
Shazila Mohammed, House of Blues, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Cobra Commander, and Dr. Mindbender (for helping us ‘reprogram’ Paulo)
Words told by: Paulo Von Borries (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Phil Nacionales (@phil_enn).
Photos and initial video: Paulo Von Borries
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