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Childish Gambino | The Audio Perv
Posts Tagged ‘Childish Gambino’
22 May

Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced its lineup for the 2012 edition of the festival. Set to headline this year’s lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys and Jack White. Three day tickets and single day passes are still on-sale for the festival for the festival set for October 12th through the 14th. Pick them up here while they last.

Check out the full lineup below:

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys
Jack White, Florence + The Machine, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & The Stooges, AVICII, BASSNECTAR, The Roots, The Shins, Weezer, Gotye, The Civil Wars, M83, Tegan and Sara, Childish Gambino Two Door Cinema Club, Thievery Corporation, The Afghan Whigs, Crystal Castles, Andrew Bird, Gary Clark Jr., Metric, Band of Skulls, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, M. Ward, Randy Rogers Band, Die Antwoord, Rufus Wainwright, NEEDTOBREATHE, Big Gigantic, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Steve Earle, The War On Drugs, Umphrey’s McGee, Barrington Levy, Old 97′s Punch Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club, A-Trak, Trampled by Turtles Patterson Hood, Michael Kiwanuka, Big K.R.I.T., Oberhofer, POLICA, Tennis, Zola Jesus, Stars, Kimbra, Black Lips, Los Campesinos!, Jovanotti, Ben Howard, Ruthie Foster, Freelance Whales, Civil Twilight, The Whigs, Dev, The Lumineers, Bad Books, The Devil Makes Three, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit Patrick Watson, LP, Caveman, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Father John Misty The Wombats, Dry the River, The Boxer Rebellion, Soul Rebels Brass Band Thundercat, Willis Earl Beal, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Kishi Bashi, Deep Dark Woods, Moon Duo, Kopecky Family Band, River City Extension Quiet Corral, Wheeler Brothers, The Relatives, Space Capone, The Staves Native Run, Nikki Lane, Quiet Company, Infantree, Wild Child, La Vida Bohème The Eastern Sea, The Dunwells, Kenny Vaughan Trio, Justin Jones, Sonámbulo Royal Teeth, Noah Gunderson, The Aaron Ivey Band, The Mighty Sincere Voices G.S.T., Colorfeels, Lera Lynn, Megan McCormick, Shields of Faith, Stapletones, The Baylor Choir, Disciples of Joy, Ralph’s World, Orange Sherbet, Big Don Rocknoceros, Hullabaloo, Jambo, Peter DiStefano & Tor, The School of Rock, The Q Brothers

07 May

By Keeyahtay Lewis

In the past year or so I can literally name two artists in hip hop that have come up and caught my interest. One would be J. Cole, the other, Childish Gambino. If you are reading this review, I assume you already know who Childish Gambino is; the alter ego of actor-writer-comedian Donald Glover. If you don’t know who CG is, then you are probably confused by this statement. It doesn’t seem that an actor-writer-comedian would make a decent rapper. Normally that sounds like a recipe for utter disaster, but in the hands of Donald Glover, Childish Gambino is poised to take over the world.

He was supposed to be at Starland Ballroom a few months back, but the show got moved because he fractured his foot. I waited anxiously, and finally on Monday 04/30/12 he made his way to a very, very sold out show at Starland Ballroom. He had an opening act, but honestly I was not impressed by them at all. I won’t even mention who they were or waste any more words on them.

9:00 rolled around and it was time to start the show. The stage was nothing short of gorgeous. Huge LED panels across the back, multicolored spot lights pointing into the crowd, I knew it was going to be a good one. The lights went down and the strings and choir came up. The intro was gorgeous and it faded beautifully into his first song, Outside. This is also the opening track for his latest album, Camp. CG took the stage backed by a live band, something rare in hip hop. 5 seconds into the show it was easy to see why CG fractured his foot and had to postpone the tour, his energy was off the scale. He followed up with another song from his latest album, Firefly. Firefly has a much different energy than Outside and it sounded great. Next up was a definite crowd favorite, Freaks and Geeks. The video for that song when released almost 2 years ago definitely raised his status and hype. He addressed the crowd before hand saying, “you should all know the words to this song, but if you don’t, the words will be on the screen.”

If you are familiar with his music, you know that violins, keyboards, and some actually really beautiful singing is a huge part of his songs. CG sang all the singing parts live, and his falsetto sounded strong. Backed by drums, bass, and a guy on either side of him that each had a keyboard, guitar and violin, everything sounded pretty amazing live. It is something special to see, these aren’t samples, there isn’t a DJ backing him, when you hear the violin you can see the two guys playing it. And the LED screen, man oh man. Sometimes it flashed lyrics. Sometimes it played pictures. Sometimes it danced with fireflies or stars, making you feel like you were really at “Camp Gambino.”

Camp is CG’s first proper album, but released a ton of music for free on the internet, his set list didn’t forget about those songs. So Fly, Do Ya Like, Difference, I’m On it, All The Shine, all of these older tracks were met with roars from the 2500 or so people who sang every word. At one time he sampled Adele’s Rolling In The Deep which was a hit for him. He played that on Monday night, albeit with John Legend singing Adele’s part. All the members of his band came to the front of the stage playing drums along with the song until his rap part kicked in. I thought the people inside would bring the building down with the energy they were putting out. So good.

A personal highlight and also an audience highlight would have to be the one two punch of Letter Home and Heartbeat. The latter being one of those songs that gets into your head and never leaves. In the best way possible. You See Me, Bonfire and Sunrise rounded out the rest of the set before his encore.

Everyone left the stage and CG returned by himself. Rack City was next, backed by the LED screen.Then he broke into a 5 minute freestyle and he was joined on stage by another rapper to help him out with this. Make Me Mad was next and finally, Lights Turned On. During the last song which is high energy already, he kicked it into an even higher gear. Lights flashing, him running and jumping everywhere, 2500 people with hands up soaking it all in. What a way to end the night.

In his music CG often bounces back and forth between knock out punches and insecurity. Live though, there is no missteps. There is no hesitation. It is clear he is a comfortable, and frankly, pretty great performer. It is hard to believe when you watch him that rapping/singing isn’t his main job. Somehow he finds time to do it all, and he does it all well. His lyrics are clever and full of double entendre. Sometimes he will spit a line and you will realize exactly what he said 30 seconds later and he is so far past that then. It’s pretty great. His band sounds tight and carry him along perfectly. He moves around with a little swagger, but in the next second he will sing a beautiful melody. He is comfortable with who he is and doesn’t seem to be trying to be anything but that; himself.

One of my favorite shows so far this year. My only compliant was that it felt like it went by fast. His set list was 20 songs deep but we all wanted more when he left. I spent a little time hanging out with him afterwards and he was engaging and funny in person. I know too that he has a few shows in the NYC/Philly area this summer, and I will be at all of them. And if you are reading this you should be there as well.

All photos courtesy of Keeyahtay Lewis of DeadBoltPhotos.com

02 Feb

Even if you’re not a big fan of the Super Bowl, you will watch the half time show. What happens though when the show’s star Madonna gets injured and can’t perform? NBC 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) calls upon Ryan Adams, Childish Gambino and Michael McDonald to try to fill in. How did it all turn out? Watch the animated webisode below:

23 Dec

Childish Gambino performed “Heartbeat” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Watch the video below and pick up his new album Camp (check out our review here) on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD, Vinyl

16 Nov

Childish Gambino performed “Heartbeat” on Conan. Watch the video below and pick up his new album Camp (check out our review here) on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD, Vinyl

15 Nov

By Laura McWhorter

Triskaidekaphobia (tris-kahy-dek-uh-foh-bee-uh) n. fear or a phobia of the number 13.

That’s right. The number 13 is so fraught with superstition that there are enough people scared of it…they named it. The only thing scary about the 13 tracks on Childish Gambino’s first studio release ‘Camp’ is the feeling that you’ll never love another rap album as much as you love this one (You probably will but you get the idea: it’s real good). From start to finish,…the lyrics to the beats, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like and even harder-pressed to pick your favorite part.

Rap music doesn’t normally make me feel unintelligent. Broke? Lame? Boring? Sure. But never dumb. ‘Camp’ is a whole other story – making me feel a whole lot of the former and the exact opposite of the latter. If Gambino has a calling card it has to be his lyrics and ‘Camp’ definitely doesn’t disappoint. Half of my commute this past week has been spent rapping along and (more frequently) googling along to the lyrics. The word plays and pop-culture references run the gamut – from ‘Rugrats’ to ‘Full House’…Michael Bolton to François Truffaut. Being able to pick up on half of them has been my crowning accomplishment of the week. A broad spectrum of themes is also touched on – ranging from the harder, machismo (swag, dopeness, his junk) to the heart-felt, more somber subject matter (high-school, racism, bullying). It definitely takes on a more personal note at times and at the end of the album, you feel like you might have just gotten to know CG a bit more.

If you like the upbeat, party tracks, ‘You See Me’, ‘Bonfire’, ‘Fire Fly’ (this one reminds me of Biggie), ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Sunrise’ are the ones you want to peep first. Want a softer flow? Check ‘Kids (Keep Up)’, ‘L.E.S.’ and ‘All the Shine’. Tracks: ‘Outside’, ‘Backpackers’ and ‘Hold You Down’ flex a harder muscle and some more serious themes. I think what I’m trying to get at here is there’s some variety in this album. It’s a novel with no exposition and about five climaxes throughout its course. After this lyrical/sonic rollercoaster…‘That Power’ handles the resolution. The initial rap sums up (and solidifies) Gambino’s position in the rap game (On stage with my family in front of me/I am what I am/ Everything I wanna be. All these haters/See you later/). The track ends with a short story about 13-year-old Donald at camp. I won’t spoil it but it helps to understand the man behind the music just a little bit and it’s dangerously close to being my favorite part of the whole album.

Gambino has already released six mixtapes completely gratis. ‘Camp’ marks the first time he’ll be releasing his signature tunes with a price tag. There are some that will mark this as ‘selling out’ but I think it’s different. Going legit feels like a decision FOR the fans – not in spite of them. He made the entire album on his own dime in a tiny studio. Only when faced with publishing realities did the idea of a record deal start to make sense. It was the only way he could get the piece to the masses in the formats the music requires/deserves. Gambino on vinyl? Cmon now. I’ve already had to turn down (and scold) at least five friends who’ve asked me to rip this album for them. I know downloading music is all the rage but if you plan on spending money on any album this year…make it this one. And do it multiple times. Hell, I got it for free and I’m still gonna buy it.

Track List:
1. Outside
2. Fire Fly
3. Bonfire
4. All The Shine
5. Letter Home
6. Heartbeat
7. Backpackers
8. L.E.S.
9. Hold You Down
10. Kids (Keep Up)
11. You See Me
12. Sunrise
13. That Power

Camp is out now on Glassnote Records. Pick it up on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD, Vinyl

05 Nov

Childish Gambino performed “Bonfire” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Watch the video below:

04 Nov

Written by Laura McWhorter

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino is 28-years-old. This simple fact both astonishes and depresses me simultaneously. In his short time on this planet he’s accomplished more success than most people could ever dream of. If we’re keeping score (and thank god we’re not…), this means I’ve got three years to become an actor, writer, musician, comedian and producer AND sell out the House of Blues. Right…

Putting my quasi-crippling envy aside, I donned my lenseless, hipster glasses and printed scarf and headed to House of Blues for a night of freaks, geeks and a lot of nerdy Bostonians using self-aware hip-hop gestures. Best decision I’ve made all year.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into House of Blues on Wednesday night. I’d been lucky enough to see him at Bonnaroo but that was before he went legit with Glassnote records. I think I half-figured that most of the crowd would bob along while still holding out hope for a comedic interlude. All it took was the first few seconds of “Hero” for the crowd to lose their minds and the first note of “Freaks and Geeks” for me to make a complete ass of myself in front of my friends. The only real respite of the night came with “Do Ya Like” and “So Fly” next as he showed that not only can he flow…he can also sing. From there, a bombastic and varied set of old mixtape favorites and new “Camp” tracks kept the tempo up for the rest of the night. Speaking of “Camp”, we were treated to five songs of the debut album. “Heartbeat” with its distorted vocals and dubsteppy feel, “You See Me” with it’s scream-worthy hook (UCLA!) and lead single “Bonfire” were the highlights for me and more than enough to get the entire crowd lusting for it’s 11/15 release.

Gambino and his backing band bring an explosive energy to the stage – just daring you to stand still (no one did). Hands were in the air all night to the point of exhaustion. The crowd was eating it up. Everytime Gambino passed the mic to us…we responded by screaming every lyric back in deafening unison. When it was a new track from “Camp” and we couldn’t fill the blank…we just screamed our heads off and clapped our hands – A for effort, right?

I’ve seen 76 musical performances so far this year (I keep count. Sue me.). And after almost every single one I say that it was the best or at least one of. Believe me when I say…I was wrong. This was hands down the best show I’ve ever seen. He played Terminal 5 in NYC the following night and my pesky job is the only reason I wasn’t there. Let me tell you… Childish Gambino getting a record deal is the best thing to happen to hip-hop in a long time. And while his music may not be free anymore…it’s certainly worth the extra coin.

Set List:
Freaks and Geeks
Do Ya Like
So Fly
Bitch, Look At Me Now/Yes/Got This Money (Medley)
I Be On That
Rolling In the Deep
New song from camp. All The Shine
My Shine
Heartbeat new dubsteppy. Piano.
Break (AOTL)
You See Me
Lights Turned On

I’m a Boss/Freestyle
The Longest Text Message
Not Going Back

31 Oct

Childish Gambino has a new video out for “Bonfire” off of his album Camp (out November 15th on Glassnote Records).

Watch the video below and catch Childish Gambino live tonight at Brooklyn Bowl

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