Friday, January 31, 2014

From the Hum: Zion I's heavy hip hop, Morning Ritual's haunting hooks

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Hip hop act Zion I celebrates the group's latest effort, Shadowboxing, with a stop at the Arcata Theatre Lounge as part of the Masters Of Ceremony winter tour. The new album contains the anticipated heavy beats as Zion I's past collections — all critically acclaimed — but delivers them in a grittier style, making this one something new.

Not only does the title track infect on first listen, but Zion I remains both legit and accessible. To illustrate, Shadowboxing features heavy hitters Bassnectar, Grouch and Eligh, Collie Buddz and Goapele. The group has been voted best Bay Area hip-hop group by the SF Weekly numerous times and received aforementioned tons of love from critics in The Source, Vibe, YRB, 944,, Popmatters, 7+7, SF Chronicle and SF Bay Guardian. Even if you think you're a person who doesn't typically enjoy hip-hop, odds are the sharp groove of Zion I will get to you.

Opening for Zion I is Sol, a hip-hop artist from Seattle best known for his understated lyrics, exuberant performances and diverse instrumentation. His album Yours Truly hit #1 on iTunes' U.S. hip-hop chart and he's played the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Doors opens at 9 p.m. tickets are $20 at the door.

Humboldt knows and loves Shook Twins. Now the sisters are touring as Morning Ritual, a new collaboration with Portland-based composer Ben Darwish in support of the project's first effort, The Clear Blue Pearl. The concept album follows a couple suffering in a drought-plagued land (sound familiar?) as they search for a mythical underground aquifer — the "pearl" of the title.

While the tracks are as lovely as what we're used to with Shook Twins, Morning Ritual's songs hang on more haunting hooks and tease in tastes of jazz and R&B.

Catch them at Robert Goodman Wines. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m., tickets are $15. (I'll see you there!)

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Jennifer Savage

Jennifer Savage

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