Doors 730 Show 8 All Ages
When asked if he always knew he’d end up being a rapper, Benjamin Laub—better known as Grieves—can only laugh. “Oh no, not really,” he says, “I was in bands and stuff, but I grew up listening mainly to Punk stuff. It wasn’t until I got a little older that Hip-Hop really started to happen for me.” When Grieves first heard artists like Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan, he remembers being drawn to their sound. “Hearing all the samples and stuff from records that I heard my dad play when I was a kid... You start to hear the connections. When I discovered people like Atmosphere, it was like hearing somebody speak their truth in a way that related to me. That’s when I first started to think about Hip-Hop as a way to really talk about what was happening in my life. Hard to believe that now, over a decade later, that’s actually what I’m still doing.”
On Running Wild, Grieves’ fifth proper full-length, the Seattle based musician manages to balance the dueling impulses that fuel both his live shows and his previous releases: the need to cut loose and the need to vent. Grieves wants to have a good time while also keeping shit real and honest. While previous efforts like 2011’s Together/Apart and 2014’s Winter & The Wolves might have leaned heavily in the direction of darkness—taking on subjects like addiction, heartbreak, and poverty—the new record introduces some much-needed levity to the proceedings. “I remember a review of one of my records where they were like, ‘This guy sounds like he's hella intense and really shitty to hang out with.’ I'm like, ‘What the fuck?’ It's actually the opposite. I wanted this record to reflect that a little more.”
The history of pop music is one of reinvention, littered with instances of people who, cut off from resources, from representation, have turned inward, mined themselves and remade culture in their own image. Musical cum cultural movements like hip-hop, dance music, and punk all began like that: untutored kids deconstructing the music of the time and reassembling the pieces into a world in which they could see themselves.
And so the story goes with PARISALEXA, Seattle's premiere triple hyphenate singer-songwriter-producer who continues to forge her own brand of R&B tinged pop with the raw materials of the past.
PARISALEXA has emerged fully-formed with her debut EP Bloom, which chronicles the course of a relationship from its genesis to its greatest heights to its end and the resulting exercise in self-love.
For me, Bloom is all about growth, she says. My mom always says bloom where you're planted. I didn't understand it before, but now I feel like that's exactly what I'm doing. My growth as an artist, as a person, is on display. Bloom is an EP about growing up, falling in love, and dealing with the outcomes of both. Sometimes you have a comfortable place to grow, says Paris, but sometimes you're a flower blooming in the crack in the sidewalk. And that's ok.