Denver hip-hop band UmConscious plays Saturday at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill. The show is the group's first in Steamboat Springs.
- Saturday, May 9, 2009, 10 p.m.
- Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill, 435 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs Denver hip-hop band UmConscious isn't trying to avoid serious, socially conscious material. The band just doesn't see any reason to be heavy all the time.
The group's guitar player - who goes by Boogie B. on stage - tends to wear a different costume every night, and UmConscious embraces big fake mustaches and tacky wigs in their music videos. That fits well with the group's live hip-hop show, which starts down-tempo and works itself into a Beastie Boys-inspired frenzy.
Since forming less than two years ago, UmConscious has gotten itself on concert bills with Pepper, Wu-Tang, Flobots and Guru's Jazzmatazz. With most major Front Range venues in their pocket, the musicians of UmConscious have started branching out to the rest of the state and will make their first stop in Steamboat Springs on Saturday with a show at Mahogany Ridge.
UmConscious bassist, emcee, percussionist and sampler John Larchick - stage name: Johnny Danger - talked with 4 Points about the group's rapid success on the Colorado hip-hop scene, what new listeners can expect from its live show and how the band takes on serious topics without taking itself too seriously.
4 POINTS: What can the Steamboat crowd expect from your debut show here?
JOHN LARCHICK: The first set is going to be more lyrical and definitely more mellow, and as the night progresses we're going to pick it up. : It's going to be more along the lines of sort of a G. Love - the beat's not going to be as driving, and there's going to be lyrical content, but it's not going to be overbearing. : There will be some emceeing, but it's going to behind a jazzy, funky beat.
4 POINTS: Why start out the night a little bit slower?
JL: People that don't know you are often a little reluctant anyway to really get involved - they're kind of just breaking away from what they're doing, and if you come and you're really abrasive right away, people aren't as receptive. The music is still intriguing, and it's going to be slamming still in its own realm.
4 POINTS: There's a quote on your Web site about UmConscious bridging the gap between mainstream alternative and socially conscious rap music. What does that mean?
JL: I think that's definitely one writer's opinion. : But I would say we bridge the gap when it comes down to instrumentation. We see a lot of times that people just aren't as receptive to hip-hop in a sense that if it's just a DJ and an emcee. A lot of people are turned away because they're like, 'Oh, it's just rap.'
As far as us having mainstream and socially conscious hip-hop, I think that just comes out from us as individuals. Our guitar player is more lighthearted, and he's often writing stuff that leans toward just having a good time. : Then there's the obvious stuff in life that you can't hide from, which is social things and things going on that might challenge you more in life.