Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Noelle Coultrip at Noelle.Coultrip@colorado.edu
Listen to a new genre this week with the shows that are hitting Boulder and Denver.
Multicultural Melodies: Johnny Clegg
South African singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and musical activist Johnny Clegg takes pride in the heterogeneity of his Western pop and Zulu-inspired masterpieces, combining both Western culture and the culture of the South African Zulu people. Clegg’s first album, released in 1979 and titled Western Men, told the story of a Zulu migrant worker’s struggles, balancing work and living in the city. Clegg’s second album, African Litany, stayed true to his South African roots, illustrating trough music the South African experience.
Despite Clegg’s obvious success, the South African Broadcasting Corporation ignored his work because of his intermingling of languages and cultures. Clegg paid no mind, reaching a pinnacle of success through word of mouth and live shows. Clegg believes that language is the key in understanding other’s experiences, displayed in the multi-cultural base of his music. Through Clegg’s carefully composed songs and inner passion for sparking dialogue on important issues, Clegg’s music echoes the cries of Zulu Migrant workers and brings a different perspective to the table. Jonny Clegg performs at the Boulder Theater on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. with opener Jesse Clegg.
Upbeat a cappella: Pentatonix
A cappella group Pentatonix started their musical endeavors in 2011, and has since sold more than 2.7 million albums in the U.S., won a Grammy award and sold out shows all over the world. The group’s YouTube covers and mashups of popular songs have caught the attention of millions, with videos like the Evolution of Beyoncé reaching over 40 million views. What sets Pentatonix and its music apart from the rest of the a cappella community are the unique sounds and moments that the group adds in to keep their music “fresh.”
The group consists of Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola, each member contributing an important part to the group dynamic. The mixture of Hoying’s smooth voice, Grassi’s high-pitched vocals, Maldonado’s flexible pitch, Kaplan’s deep tone and Olusola’s intricate beats overwhelm the sense with an a cappella explosion. The Pentatonix perform at the 1st Bank Center on Thursday, April 21 at 8 p.m. with openers Us The Duo and AJ.
Quirky Pop-Folk: Half Moon Run
The indie, pop-folk trio Half Moon Run created something special despite the suffocating grip of the music industry and the hardships that come with it. Chasing the dream of success paid off for Half Moon Run, allowing them to perform numerous live shows and at popular musical festivals in France and Germany. The band’s love for performing its music makes it hard for them to stay home for too long, always itching to get back on the road and be with themselves once again.
Half Moon Run’s writing process requires tranquility and peace of mind, the band at one point using California as a sunny escape to get some real writing done. In songs like “She Wants To Know,” Half Moon Run has a kind of eerie, haunting quality to it, paired with smooth vocals. Another one of Half Moon Run’s creations, “Everybody Wants,” is soft, delicate and seemingly fragile, every lyric brimming with emotion. Half Moon Run performs at the Ogden Theatre on Saturday, April 23 at 9 p.m. with opener Jesse Mac Cormack.