:: New Music!
Anthony Newes and Brendan Kelly, known in hip hop circles as BK-One, were introduced through their work with the developmentally disabled. Their first meeting was a 5-minute conversation about Tom Waits. Their second was at a client’s deathbed.
BK-One is probably best known for his decade of work with esteemed rapper Brother Ali. As the backbone of Ali’s live show, BK crafted elaborate routines with quick mixes and pounding beats while performing across the world and earning a reputation as one of underground hip hop’s best live acts. However, his first exposure to the life of a traveling musician came years earlier. Before he was old enough to get into clubs, Brendan was touring the country in a jazz band while studying piano and vibraphone alongside musical giants like Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Yusef Lateef, and Wynton Marsalis. Over his 20-year career BK-One has recorded with a diverse array of musicians, from rappers like Black Thought (of The Roots), MF Doom, and The Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon to Brazilian legends like Arthur Verocai and Helcio Milito; from a 9-piece brass band (The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble) to a French cowgirl (Marianne Dissard). In October of 2009, BK released his first solo album, “Rádio do Canibal”, inspired by the crates of records he had recently brought home from Brazil.
As a teenager, Anthony Newes booked punk rock shows and worked at the famed Pachyderm Studios in his hometown of Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Feeling drawn to the road, Newes studied audio engineering in Arizona, improvisation and music theory in Northern California, and worked at a homeless shelter in Seattle, all the while honing his songwriting skills on the piano and guitar. He formed a critically-celebrated rock band in Eureka, CA, earned a reputation playing folk music in the old Minneapolis haunts of Dylan and Guthrie, and in 2004 released a self-titled solo album showcasing a stripped down collection of pop songs. Newes quickly gained a local following, sharing bills with Jeremy Messersmith, Roma di Luna, Charlie Parr, and members of Trampled By Turtles. Anthony spent the last several years playing in the melodic rock band Villa. His guitar lent a recognizable sound to the group, but it was his lush vocal arrangements that gave their two releases (2010’s self-titled EP “Villa”, and 2012’s “Plains, Fog, Cold, and Snow”) an unmistakable pop glisten.
While Bones & Beeker isn’t either of these musicians’ first time adapting to new musical genres, it has certainly been their most challenging. They quickly found that their record crates had few bands in common, Newes didn’t really understand how sampling works, and it had been over 15 years since BK had written music in a band. It took endless hours of discussion to learn how to communicate with each other musically. Next came months of awkward recordings and “back to the drawing board” conversations before finally hitting on a sound that excited them both.
Flanked by Chris Bierden (bassist for Polica and Pony Trash) and Nate Collis (guitarist for Atmosphere and Attracted To Gods), Bones & Beeker deliver an album full of surprises. Jumping quickly from late-night soul steppers to classic rock ballads to grimy hip hop production, you would expect this bizarre collection to make for a jarring listen. Instead, the album is served well by the “nothing’s off limits” attitude of this veteran DJ, and is tied together by the warm blankets of multi-tracked vocals. The result is one of this year’s most original and satisfying albums. [Press release]
The lineup: Anthony Newes (vocals, guitar, keys, and other sounds) and BK-One(drum programming, samples, keys, glockenspiel, kalimba).
Artist: Bones & Beeker
Title of Album: Bones & Beeker
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Label: Wax Poetics Records
3 Oh Lord
4 Heartbroken in Love
5 A Song for Al’s Dead Mother
6 Wind-Up Dolls
7 Each Time I Die
8 All That We Are (So Far to Go)
9 Tiny Little Pieces
10 Elfman in Nine
11 A Song for Liam Joe
13 World Behind
14 In Search of Signs