Coming into 2017 Big Zach is multitasking two projects. A three-dimensional audio book version of Hula-hoops & Vampires. Along with a new musical project produced by Mike the Martyr that we're calling, "Splash".
Big Zach will be performing in Minot, North Dakota, on Thursday, March 16th
at the Arlene Theater, opening for Satsang. Doors at 8pm.
Gil, the father of the White Jesus, by Noah Brandow
Jon Wayne & the Pain Album Release Party Weekend
Really enjoyed this past weekend.
Very honored Jon Wayne & the Pain chose me to host their release party weekend.
The band also chose the West Coast hip hop Zion I to perform, both in Moorhead on Friday, and in the First Avenue Mainroom Saturday.
Early Friday afternoon, there was a realization that some communication lines had gotten crossed, and Zion I needed both a ride from the airport to Moorehead and back, and turntables to be provided for them.
So Jon Wayne ask me if I could shofer Zion I for the weekend.
Squeezing through time, promoter Zack Chazin swooped me at 1:04pm, to drive me 40 minutes north, to pick up a station wagon, then drive back south to the airport to pick up both members of Zion I, whose flight landed at 1:50pm.
There was a slight sliver of stress felt, as it would be unprofessional to leave Zion I waiting at the airport for any extended amount of time.
Flowing with the universe I drove into Terminal One at a smooth 2:30pm.
Pulling up, I’m feeling like, okay, if these dudes are divas, or in a bad mood, or irritated about the last minute details being ironed out, this could be a long weekend for me.
So when the rapper Zumbi and DJ Twelve got into the car, I explained to them,
I was just the host.
This wasn’t my car.
We had to go rent their equipment somewhere in St Paul.
I didn’t have gps to find the rental place.
Though if they bared with me, I would get them to their shows.
Luckily, Zion I was hella cool, and down to earth, and laughed and used their phone to help me find the rental spot, and the ride to Moorehead was super smooth.
Though, I had woken up at 3am, to take an early morning yoga class from Matthew Portwood at Radiant Life Yoga. So after what stretched into almost 6 hours of driving, I was pretty tired when I got to Moorehead.
Fargo’s own Kipp G woke me in the band room.
I was pretty out of it so Kipp brought me 2 sugar free redbulls which I slammed to get going.
I told a funny Fargo story.
The Moorehead crowd had awesome energy, and Zion I and JW&Pain put on a great show.
Until 94 east went down to one lane just outside the Cities, the ride to Minneapolis on Saturday was smooth.
Listening to the car conversations between Zumbi and Twelves, was hella interesting.
From their perception of hip hop they told me about the history of the rave scene in Chicago.
Movies, protests, and the gentrification that is taking place in the city of Oakland.
I know a woman named Anya Svanoe who is working with the cause out in Oakland, so I was slightly aware of what they were speaking on.
I would pray Oakland is able to keep its culture as the city grows.
My favorite band, Crunchy Kids, were on the First Ave bill, so the friends and energy back stage was on great all night.
While the bands soundchecked, I caught a bus to Uptown, and popped into a small party where everyone was on acid.
Everyone except me and this girl Gillian Neeham
The hour plus I spent in this Lake Street Store basement was full of laughter, though communication was difficult.
Gillian gave me a ride back to First Ave.
Before they took the stage, Zumbi of Zion I, ask me if I wanted to come on during his set and freestyle.
It is a spiritual honor, when another emcee, especially one from out of town, invites you to freestyle with them.
Over the 20 years I’ve been performing at First Avenue and & 7 Street Entry, I have never been invited to freestyle on the mainstage.
It should have automatically been awesome, though since I’ve spent the last six years writing hip hop superhero psychedelic science fiction, my freestyle skills have gotten …..hella rusty.
I spent like an hour behind the stage attempting to remember how to rap.
By the time Zumbi brought me on stage, there was probably over 700 in the crowd.
When I look over an audience, I search for a person who is an energy conductor, who I can focus on and figure eight energy between their perception and my own.
Normally in the local music scene I search for Chilly Love.
Chilly is a Jedi.
When Chilly is my conductor, he uses the force and everything normally comes out on good.
Quickly looking over the crowd I couldn’t spot Chilly.
Though right when the beat dropped I spotted my little homegirl Emma Catherine in the front row with her friend Brittany Brama.
Using the power of perception, I’m thinking, I think Emma likes my raps, and she is unaware that I have lost the ability to freestyle. So all I have to do, is use the rapping skill, that I think, Emma thinks, I have.
If that makes sense to anyone but myself.
I think we did good.
I fell back on the line,
“I’m flying high with Zion I”
like 5 times.
Hopefully no one noticed.
Building confidence I attempted to switch my conductor from Emma to Cassie Udovich, who was more in the center of the audience.
Looking Cassie directly in her face … I failed to think of a word that rhymed with her name ….so I just rapped,
“I’m flying high with Zion I”
When Jon Wayne & the Pain started their set, Sophie LeCorre and Cloe Zacharkevics invited me to move over to the Skyway with them where the edm group BoomBox was performing.
Sophie and Cloe are fun.
On the walk to Skyway Theatre we talked about how it’s not a good idea to sprinkle crack on Taco Bell.
Just as a rule, eating a Taco Bell taco, is not healthy in the first place. So sprinkling crack cocaine inside the shell after you add hot sauce, usually doesn’t lead to anything you would write a fun facebook status about.
There was a fun 500-600 people at Boombox.
As I moved through the venue, many people ask about the First Ave show, claiming they almost went there.
Without really conceiving how, I wished Boombox + JW&P + Zion I +Crunchy Kids, would have all been one show.
That would have been super dooper cracking.
Hopefully they would have still let me host it.
In the back of the room I saw a girl I hadn’t seen in a couple years.
I ask how she was.
She told me she had a kid.
I was like, oh snaps, you’re a mom?
Suddenly, I really wanted to make out with her.
I told her I had never made out with a mom at Skyway before.
She was a little drunk, and I was sober, which is frowned upon, though I figured if she is raising a child, she is capable of coherently making out with a man in a club.
We made out …for 2 or 3 minutes.
It added a nice element to my evening.
After 20 minutes moving through BoomBox I sensed I should make my way back to First Ave.
Back in First Ave, I got lost in some small talk with my festival friend Renee Susan, discussing how to manifest myself to Electric Forest when Poppa Walrus grabbed my attention like,
“Yo Zach! Jon Wayne has been calling you to the stage!”
I was like, oh, I’m fucking up on the job, and ran back to work.
Zumbi and Chance came with me and we were allowed to become part of the performance.
I’ve been working on this new frequency flow over Mike the Martyr’s production, though I hadn’t attempted the style with a live drummer before.
Teeto Miller the kit drummer of JW&Pain met my eyes from across the stage, and we telepathically linked so I was able to flow around the beat he was producing.
It felt like we were in a moment.
Zumbi and Chance looked me in the eyes and confirmed we were.
Zumbi took the mic after me and took control of the moment.
Almost anyone can speak through a microphone and say the words,
“Put your hands up”
Though through the higher levels of emceeing, there is higher vibration reached with it.
That Zumbi dude from Zion I, produces an incredible energy that swelled up on stage and got the crowd involved in everything.
Jon Wayne & the Pain looked great on the First Avenue stage.
It reminded me of when Useful Jenkins played First Ave in 2015.
When the show was over Chuck (bass player of JW&Pain) and I stood in an empty club and talked about the energy of the First Ave Main Stage.
Minnesota’s festival music culture moves most of its energy through the Cabooze and Harmony Park.
Two beautiful places to play music.
I’ve never been a supporter of the local music press selling the perception that First Ave is more important than other local venues.
That’s always felt snobby to me.
Though when Chuck and I stood in the club alone, looking at the empty stage after the weekend we just experience, I can’t front, I felt it.
Once and in while a group rises from festival scene to bless this bigger stage located in the center of Minneapolis.
I am very proud and impressed by all of the work and music Jon Wayne & the Pain have done to reach where they are.
I pray their journey continues to move in great places.
– Big Zach –New One Zachariah
I deeply appreciate everyone who appeared at the Hula-hoops & Vampires book release on Nov 10th 2016. I hadn’t been in Minnesota for over a month + The book release doubled as my birthday gathering = so the eclectic cast of friends, family, performers, and supporters that came through was real special for me.
Zach's new book Hula-Hoops & Vampires is available now:
Big Zach's new album "It's in the Water"
New Kanser joint "Maybe This Moment"
This fifteen-minute piece of music features many of our good friends. The majority of the production was done by Big Jess of the Unknown Prophets. Bass and guitar were played in the first section by Twinkie Jiggles and Josh Peterson of Heiruspecs. Transition production was done by Midway Felix, also of the Heiruspecs. And the four bar vocal glitch in the middle of the song was enraged by Mike the Martyr. The order of verses go, Big Zach, Big Shiz, Raashan Ahmad, Unicus, MeshOne, Kipp G, OSP, Glo Pesi of the Abstract Pack, Midway Felix. The angelic female vocals in the second evolution of the chorus were gifted to us by Kristina Marie Castaneda out of Iowa. The spirit of Alicia Steele slides through the song before OSP’s verse. And the third evolution of the chorus is sung by Unicus and Muadib (also of Heiruspecs).
by Big Zach, featuring Olivia Spitz. Produced by Duenday and Corey Hess.
KANSER MUSIC @ FOR THE LOVE
On July 11th 2015, Kanser was booked to perform at the For The Love Community block party Downtown St Paul. In honor of Kanser being together for two decades this summer, the promoter booked us to headline the daylong event. Personally I was nervous to go last since Kanser hasn’t been very active over the past few years, and there were many powerful artists on the bill.
I spilled my insecurities on my boy Jake Heinitz earlier that week. Jake reminded me that block party was called For The Love, and the woman who organized it, Amber Ace, had always been an honest promoter with Kanser through the years, and even a friend. I believe we were the first act Amber ever booked years ago when she got into promoting, and it meant something to her to have us headline.
For The Love ended up to be a very beautiful event, and real memorable in the journey of Kanser. Throughout the two decades Kanser has created music, the group has taken many forms with many members. On July 11th we performed with Unicus, Alicia Steele, Shiz, DJ Gabe Garcia and myself (Big Zach). Mesh would have loved to have been there, but he was out of state for work.
The audience was a diverse mix of artists, long time Kanser supporters, friends, and new faces who were catching us for the first time. It was great.