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For over a decade, B. DOLAN has built a reputation for himself as one of the smartest, most energetic and surprising shows in Hip-Hop and Spoken Word. He keeps his loyal, homegrown fanbase coming back with a continually shapeshifting presentation, outsider perspective, and masterful execution.
B. Dolan began performing in 1999 in the heart of the spoken word scene; New York City’s famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where he developed his chops quickly. An 18 year old Dolan arrived for the first time as part of HBO’s Def Poetry Series in 2002, and the respect earned with numerous performance poetry championships in the two years that followed.
2003 also saw the first release of “The Failure,” [at the time] a two-disc, homegrown demo full of Dolan’s earliest work.
After this self-release, Dolan disappeared from the poetry scene to pursue more overtly musical projects, as well as his own contribution to the struggle against social injustice.
In the midst of inventing the ragged, breakdown aesthetic of his later work, Dolan also dug in his activist roots by creating and co-founding theKnowmore.org website with former slam teammate and friend Sage Francis.
B. Dolan joined Francis on The Knowmore.org Tour in support of the project, which is when Francis expressed interest in releasing a revised version of “The Failure” on Strange Famous Records.
2008 brought about the official re-release of “The Failure” lp, which was trimmed down by a disc, and was critically acclaimed as a genre-defying, unheralded classic. It also earned a legion of die hard fans for Dolan’s spoken word pieces, who’ve stuck around since to watch this unique artist’s continual reinvention.
In 2009 he released House of Bees vol. 1, a full length mixtape that served to build momentum toward his 2010 release. Then, in 2010, “Fallen House, Sunken City” hit. Dolan’s decidedly hip-hop sophomore lp was hailed by rap legends, critics and fans as a massive success. Alternative Press called the album “proof that underground hip hop still has bite,” and The Onion’s A.V. Club named it “One of the best albums of 2010.” “Earthmovers,” the album’s first video, also became an MTVu Freshman of the Week and was entered into rotation on MTV2.
Since his signing to SFR, Dolan has toured exhaustively and internationally, most notably as part of the Paid Dues, SXSW 09, Soundset, and Rock the Bells festivals.
In addition to his partner and frequent collaborator Sage Francis, Dolan has also toured with the likes of Buck 65, Alias, Sole, Solilaquests of Sound, Prolyphic, Dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Grand Buffet and others.
**WHEELCHAIR SPORTS CAMP**
Wheelchair Sports Camp is Denver’s biggest smallest band! Fronted by the disabled, wheelchair bound MC/producer Kalyn, the band is a combination of live and electronic instruments with a more live, jazzy, funky, combination to the traditional hip-hop group. Their unconventional setup of live instruments and Kalyn’s produced beats presents a polished sound with old-school lyrics that maintain a sarcastic yet independent and heavy consciousness. Kalyn is 26 years old, weighs 53 pounds and measures three feet, six inches tall. She’s light enough to carry, compact enough to hide under a winter coat and is sometimes mistaken for a child. But Kalyn, who has the brittle-bone disability osteogenesis imperfecta, is hardly innocent, precious, or inconspicuous. The band has been featured on the cover of the Village Voice as well as in SPIN Magazine, Huffington Post and High Times Magazine.
The band unknowingly started in the summer of 1997 when Kalyn moved back from Burbank, CA to her Denver hometown and was invited to attend and corrupt the 14th annual week-long Wheelchair Sports Camp. The band tours the States from their home in Denver, Colorado. The group has supported and/or toured with; the Flobots, Salt-n-Pepa, Sage Francis, Rhazel, Raekwon, Macklemore, Zion I, , Binary Star, Blackalicious, Souls Of Mischief and many more. WSC begin a 30 day US national tour on May 15 and will make their UK debut at Bestival on the 7th of September, 2013.
Wheelchair Sports Camp persists to stay passionate about many causes, playing shows to raise money and awareness to support Occupy Wall Street (most especially Occupy Denver), prevent domestic violence, support LGBT youth and gay rights, support Haiti relief efforts, advocate an end to war, aid the homeless, promote global equality, and any other fight they can foster. Taking a nod from one of their favorite artists Radiohead, Wheelchair Sports Camp always has free or pay what you can CDs available at shows for fans. “If you can’t afford music or food, steal it!” has been their motto since inception. Their goal is to spread their music like wildfire, and they encourage their fans to share and borrow creativity with hopes to conserve a free culture. To them, it’s the only way to keep their music headed in the right direction without allowing money and greed to interfere with the creative process.
Fate, serendipity, kismet, cosmic coincidence, chemical chance. Something inexplicable brought Rubedo together. The band's name comes from an alchemical concept and that seems appropriate enough when you spend any amount of time around these guys or just listen to their recorded output.
Gregg Ziemba, Kyle Gray and Alex Raymond all met before getting out of high school and were all recognized as creative talents in their youth that would blossom later in life. They were jazz guys then and you can still hear that spontaneity honed by discipline in their music now. But when Kyle went on an existential/spiritual journey, hiking across the country he woke up one day after an epiphany struck him and he called Gregg to start the band.
It clicked from there and the duo got together with Alex and started a band that had that informal structure and flexibility of free jazz, the noisy psychedelic freakout instincts of the wilder ends of The Mars Volta and a deeply rooted sense of compassion for each other and the rest of humanity that informs how these guys operate and engage with the rest of the world. That wellspring of good instincts, good spirits and psychological and creative openness that drew the band to interesting experiences and unexpected opportunities the list of which reads like fiction.
It started with the band meeting Isaiah "Ikey" Owens, the keyboardist of The Mars Volta, who has gone on to become a friend, mentor and collaborator with the band as well as producing Rubedo's first album, Massa Confusa, and its latest opus, Love Is the Answer. Owens was like the god Janus that opened some doors for and within the band, challenging it to step up and not merely be a local phenomenon.
Through the DIY space Unit E, Rubedo had the chance in 2012 to curate the Blacktop Music Festival and shutting down a couple of streets in downtown Denver--something that rarely happens for much of anything beyond the occasional parade or visits from heads of state. In 2013, Rubedo was also asked to perform at Denver International Airport for a month, several hours a day. Experimental rock bands don't get asked to do things like that but that's the story of Rubedo.
Its music is out of left field but incredibly accessible. It has a core of improvisation built into the sound, the performances and the songwriting but never feels self-indulgent. There is something inviting about the band's music even in its most fiery moments like you're sharing the same dream, the same feelings without being subsumed by anyone else's vision.
Love Is the Answer may sound like a hippie platitude but with Rubedo it is a simple formula for salving the ails of the modern psyche without telling you how that has to look, the form it has to take and without suggesting a timeframe. Rather, it is a fundamental statement of everyday spiritual solidarity with the struggles of being alive and a subtle but powerful act of kindness given from that tranquil place in all of us we must cultivate in these troubled times.