Pow, wow

Music, dance, revolution: A Tribe Called Red capped off a full day of art, culture and activism with a deejay set boasting art, culture and activism—and a raucous dance party.

I can’t think of a more perfect booking for Sol Collective’s 10-year anniversary celebration last weekend. The Canadian trio specializes in “electronic powwow,” blending dubstep with traditional Native American chanting and drumming. The result is intensely visceral: you’re ecstatic, you’re angry and your body needs to thrash.

Why angry? “Woodcarver” opened with a police officer shouting at a Native American woodcarver to put down his knife. Then, gun shots. Then, news reports. Repeat. “Burn Your Village To The Ground” tackled Thanksgiving with a powerful monologue over a powerful beat, made more powerful by a young girl’s unwavering voice: “Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes and reservations. Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs.”

Still, the set’s party atmosphere jived well with its messages. The Tribe relied on hip-hop, reggae and other samples—everything from Kanye West’s “Stronger” to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”—to shake up its sound.

The crowd was already warmed up by two Sol Life artists, local Afro-Latin duo World Hood, who performed with two live percussionists this time, and Los Angeles emcee Seti X. And the room thinned out quite a bit over the course of the Tribe’s nearly 90-minute set, becoming suffocatingly hot for some.

But that created the necessary room for our own powwow, led by the Tribe’s hoop dancer, who charged the stage with as many as eight hula hoops at a time. He told stories by rapidly manipulating the hoops into shapes—he became a bird, he created a planet—before gathering everyone into concentric circles. We grabbed strangers’ hands and walked around, stumbling over wires, the stage, stray cups. Finally, we ran into the center, threw our hands into the air and cheered for A Tribe Called Red, ourselves, Sol Collective, justice.

The Tribe watched, dressed in all black behind their sample pads, turntables and laptops. Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau’s sticker, “YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND,” stared me in the face as he grabbed the mic: “That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.” And as if to prove he was serious, they launched into an encore. And another. And another. —Janelle Bitker

Destroyed: Last week, the local metal and punk scenes leveled the city with a huge spread of shows. Really. Kinda strange that you didn’t notice Sacramento’s flat now.

It started last Monday at Starlite Lounge, with Horseneck, Fight Amp and Kowloon Walled City. Horseneck makes heavy rock so sharp and tonally perfect that I’m almost surprised that every person who loves guitars isn’t demanding it on the radio at all times.

Tuesday, same time, same place, Sacramento received Modern Man, Chrch, Seven Sisters of Sleep and Full of Hell, an eclectic bill of thought-provoking intensity. Modern Man continues to be one of the most technically astounding and idiosyncratic local bands with its meld of prog, tech and grind.

Friday, Sacramento was lucky enough to have the likes of Beastmaker, (waning) and He Whose Ox is Gored at Cafe Colonial. I like the local (waning) more every time I see them, and it seems like they keep getting heavier and more determined to dwell in prog-sludge nightmarescapes. Also, don’t sleep on the other two acts from that bill, lest you miss out on some bands starting out on what should be rather impressive careers.

What’s saddens me—and also inspires— is that even with hitting three incredible shows last week, I missed some great stuff: the F%$# Cancer benefit shows, which brought out tons of local punks for a good cause; the Punks Give Back benefit for the homeless at The Colony; and the Crowbar, Will Haven and Armed for Apocalypse show at Starlite on Wednesday.

Even with that list, I’m still scraping at what really went on last week. Too many good shows, Sac. Keep tearing it down. —Anthony Siino