PICK OF THE WEEK
SATURDAY 13TH AUGUST
MĘSKIE GRANIE W KRAKOWIE
with O.S.T.R. / DAWID PODSIAŁO / ORGANEK / L.U.C. feat. REBEL BABEL ENSEMBLE / SBB with REBEKA and much more…
(Parkowy 12A / 17:00 / 99zł)
The Męskie Granie (Men Playing) festival is an annual traveling tour across Poland featuring an expansive assortment of artists from the ranks of both the commercially successful and the venerable and respected, from legacy acts of the past to the latest hitmakers. For example, singer/songwriter DAWID PODISIADŁO, probably the most successful new Polish artist of this decade, was born more than 20 years after experimental progressive band SBB began their recording career. PODISIADŁO has recently released his second album, while SBB have a catalogue numbering somewhere north of 75 of them (seriously – there are so many that no one’s really sure!). It’s that kind of imaginative billing that makes the Męskie Granie tour unique and creates an atmosphere where many artist collaborations, both announced and spontaneous, often arise. Although SBB are certainly no strangers to a
musical experimentation, it’s hard to imagine what it will sound like when they join forces with the electro pop duo REBEKAH (who will also be playing their own set on the second stage.) Progressive jazz rock meets synth pop? The mind reels at the possibilities…
The bill is a little bit heavy on hip hop-influenced acts like L.U.C. and O.S.T.R., but PODISIADŁO’s poetic introspection will certainly provide balance. and the finale will feature an all-star lineup that includes PODISIADŁO, funky guitarist Tomasz ORGANEK, rapper O.S.T.R. as well as most likely some unannounced surprises, giving perspective to the concept that, as Duke Ellington used to say, there’s only two kinds of music; good and bad.
On the surface, this may look like just another one of the many multi-act bills of mainstream rock/pop/hip hop, etc. that come through town so often, but the interesting cross-pollination and creative interplay between the artists give it more substance than the usual “here’s our hit single(s)” human jukebox set which bands are usually relegated to at such things.
FRIDAY 12TH AUGUST
(Podgorska 34 / 18:00 / Free)
Centrum Kultury Dworek Białopradnicki
(Papiernicka 2 / 20:00 / Free)
Do you know those ‘Free Walking Tour’ groups you see all around Krakow? Well, here’s an idea…Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: the first (and probably last) Free Blues Walking Tour of Krakow! On Friday evening, you have the rare opportunity to see two of the city’s finest blues rock bands in two different locations, at no charge! There’s even an hour between the two, allowing time for a leisurely stroll from point A to B.
We begin at (or more accurately, in front of) the Galeria Kazimierz shopping center, where NAJEMNICY will be doing an hour long set starting from 18:00. Then we wind our way through the streets of the city over to the Białopradnicki culture center for the 20:00 set from LEVI, featuring the excellent vocals of Ewa Novel. Don’t be fooled by the lack of a cover charge, these are first class musicians all around.
It may seem odd that the blues, a musical genre forged in the American Deep South from the blood and sweat of slavery, has such a foothold in this part of the world – but in the words of Professor Cornell West, we all live in a “blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration, joy and pain, sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.” And it settled, among other places, in Krakow, Poland.
FRIDAY 12TH AUGUST
DANIEL DRUMZ / MATAT PROFESSIONALS / NAPHTA / etc.
(Podgórska 16 / 21:00)
If perhaps dancing the night away is more your idea of a Friday night, DANIEL DRUMZ is hosting a number of DJs down on the Wisła on the boat called Barka. DRUMZ is a local who’s opened for legends like De La Soul and Jay-Z, and his skills as a remix artist are sought after. His own releases veer from hip hop to chill out techno, and with the event scheduled to run until 08:00, he’ll probably get a chance to showcase all of it.
SATURDAY 13TH AUGUST
CHERRY CAT IN ITALY
(Paulińska 28 / 21:00 / 10zł)
The word ‘folktronica’ has replaced the old label ‘world music’ as lazy shorthand for anything not easily definable that seems to have both traditional roots and modern technology influences. The instrumentation of this band combines ukulele, concertina, and guitar, with mellifluous female vocals anchored by the Peruvian drum called the cajon. But underneath that pulse, modern electronica often informs the arrangements, giving these three Poles and their Italian percussionist an individual voice, whether playing original songs or covers that range from Nancy Sinatra to Gnarls Barkley.
THURSDAY 18TH AUGUST
(Szlak 14 / 20:00 / Free)
CLOUDJAM, like Cherry Cat In Italy above, utilize modern electronics to enhance traditional folk-based music with beautiful female vocals to great effect. In the case of CLOUDJAM, however, it is the music of their native Ukraine that provides the foundation. They also have more of a jam band-hippie approach that has taken them to festivals the world over. As you can see in this clip, they are quite magical live.