August 25, 2008

Sound Tribe Sector Nine: Progressive Music and Politics Coming to Red Rocks (and a town near you)!

(photo of Red Rocks 2007 via Soren McCarty)

Musicians don’t have to be role models (and we all know what kind of behavior main stream media tends to reward with press), but that only makes it better when a band you love does things you love. Sound Tribe Sector Nine‘s new album Peaceblaster is entirely made from recycled content, even the tray; their merchandise is sweatshop-free, made in America; they are donating half of the per ticket fees from their summer tour to non-profits Conscious Alliance and HeadCount, and they even sponsor a high school solar racing team. In short, if STS9 were a girl or guy you met at a bar, you’d want to bring them home to meet Mom and Dad.

They’re also very, very talented musicians and music visionaries, and when they play Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO on September 5th and 6th, the only reason I won’t be seeing them at arguably the most beautiful and spiritual venue in the country, is because I will be out of the country. I just saw STS9 in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, and I was once again in awe of STS9’s unique sound, one that relies on a mastery of both repetition and improvisation. Just as the band’s ideals challenge the status quo in society, their music has always pushed boundaries and defied tidy definitions. STS9 has the power to move you in the same way Bob Dylan’s music moves you, only without any lyrics, at least in the traditional sense. As an STS9 show unfolds, there is an attack on your senses, but it’s a peaceful attack. Peaceblaster, also the title of their activism “blog,” is a perfect description of their sound and live performances, and it is also the band’s aim: “Music measures the temperature of the people. Consumerism and the corporate media have taken us all down the path of cynicism, apathy, and nihilism. If the message on the new record is anything, it’s to blast that shit,” says guitarist Hunter Brown.

(photo of STS9 at the Independent in San Francisco via me!)

An STS9 show is a good time, and we all know how elephant feels about doing good and having a good time. So if you’re in town (or in any of the towns on their newly announced Fall Tour), support a band that supports and lives the mindful life. Conscious Alliance will be holding a food drive. STS9 has partnered with Euphonic Conceptions for a series of pre and post show events/parties, and they, in turn, have partnered with The Basics Fund, a non-profit that will provide buses to and from the events (and other CO concerts) and uses the money raised to help provide artists with health insurance. STS9 will provide an unforgettable and incredible concert experience, an experience that breaks yet another mold—their shows transcend the band/fan dichotomy, creating, in its wake, community.

To listen to tracks from Peaceblaster, click here.

(STS9 at the Greek Theater in Berkeley via me)

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