The Melting Pot on 04/02/13
THE MELTING POT Spring Membership Drive 2013 featuring THIEVERY CORPORATION Tuesday 4.2.2013 8-10pm(pst) www.KBOO.fm/listen
Thievery Corrporation draws on influences from Hip-Hop, Downtempo, Dub, Jazz, Afrobeat, Latin, and Reggae rythyms to create something completely unique.
Thievery Corporation was hatched in 1995 when Hilton and Garza were introduced by a mutual friend at Washington, D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge — a popular gathering place for musicians and nightlife seekers that is co-owned by Hilton. Hilton had been producing parties and various music events before opening the Lounge with a fellow DJ in the top three floors of a turn-of-the-century mansion just below Dupont Circle. He also had a recording studio, where Garza had once done some music production work, but the two had never met until the night Garza walked into the Lounge.
“I was really impressed by what Eric had built,” Garza says. “The music they were playing and the whole mood of the place was very inspiring.” The two discovered that they shared The Clash and D.C. punk label Dischord as a formative musical influence, that they both loved ’60s and ’70s Brazilian music, “and that we were both interested in talking about stuff that other people aren’t interested in talking about,” as Hilton puts it. They decided to try to make some original music together.
In 1996, Thievery Corporation launched itself with two underground hit vinyl singles, “Shaolin Satellite” and “2001 Spliff Odyssey,” followed by their debut album, Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi, and soon became loosely associated with the “trip-hop” scene that had emerged a few years prior in the U.K. In 2000, they released Mirror Conspiracy, which introduced live vocalists, including Bebel Gilberto and the late Pam Bricker into the mix. (Bricker sings on Thievery Corporation’s breakthrough hit “Lebanese Blonde,” which was included on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack to the 2004 film Garden State.) Following The Richest Man in Babylon and The Cosmic Game, the duo released 2006′s Versions, featuring their remixes of songs by such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Astrud Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, and The Doors. By then, Garza and Hilton were itching to evolve past their reputation as ambassadors of the “downtempo” scene, and began to conjure up more subversive recordings that reflected their interests in social activism, as can be heard on Radio Retaliation and, now, Culture of Fear.
Over the years, Thievery Corporation has also become known for the carnival-esque atmosphere of their live shows, during which they bring out a 15-member live band of musicians and vocalists. The group has sold out shows at such famed venues as the Hollywood Bowl, London’s 02 Shepherds Bush Empire, and the Theatro Vrahon Melina Merkouri in Athens, Greece, among many others. “To see Lou Lou, a Persian singer singing in Farsi, as America debates on a war with Iran, on stage with band members from all corners of the earth singing in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and so on, it makes people wonder,” Garza says. “And if you can get people to question the things around them, even just a little bit, that’s not such a bad thing.”