Tom Copson Jr/The Lizards from Mars Trio
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Tom Copson Jr/The Lizards from Mars Trio


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"Artist(s) Who Deserve Your Friendship: The Lizards from Mars"

Artist(s) Who Deserve Your Friendship: The Lizards from Mars

The Lizards from Mars is an experimental funkified alien side project from shredder, champion picker and groovemaster Tom Copson, Jr. (The Hustle, BurnDown All Stars) and the solid backbone of Swift Technique, drummer Rich Agren and bassist Jake Leschinsky. The trio bonded over mutual respect of each other’s works one evening when sharing a bill in NYC so they decided to collaborate on an experimental project which would explore Middle Eastern styles, proficient funk rock and free space as well as finding themselves dabbling in dub, metal and jazz, with a Zappa-type flare. Judging by these genre jumpers’ repertoire so far, the things that remain constant are their desire to make you dance and fuck with your brain (Copson certainly doesn’t have all his nifty pedals and gadgets just for show). Take a listen and you’ll find a group of seasoned veterans letting loose on some nasty shit! - Q.D. Tran

Published on Fri, 20 Nov 2009 08:39:47

- The Deli Magazine Philadelphila

"MMC Noteworthy:The Hustle/tight guitar solo's"

MMC Noteworthy: The Hustle
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:58AM
0 CommentsPosted in Local Music, Millennium Music Conference, Events by Justin Kunkel.
One of the more high-profile events at the 13th annual Millennium Conference is XPN's Funky Friday live broadcast. David Dye will be in the house at the Appalachian Brewing Company spinning all things funky, and when the broadcast ends at 9:00pm, the good people at XPN have provided a Philly indie hip-hop outfit called The Hustle to keep the party going. They seem as good a choice as any to get Spotobe's first nod as an MMC band worth checking out.

After listening to their EP 4,5,6, it's clear that The Hustle (click through to hear some tracks) have something interesting going on. Seriously, how many bands list "Bright Eyez" as an influence? The band combines hip-hop, soul, funk and indie-rock to create a product that is difficult to classify. A lazy comparison would be Philly live band hip-hop icons The Roots (at least until they agreed to become the studio band for Jimmy Fallon. Puke) but The Hustle's music has a stronger rock flavor. Not to mention the fact that many of The Hustle's songs feature sultry hooks sung by Nora Whittaker.

Kuf Knotz is the ringleader of The Hustle and delivers the rhymes. His delivery is varied, occasionally intentionally arrhythmic and it never gets tired. Still the lyrics of 4,5,6 aren’t its strongest point. The Hustle definitely views itself in the “socially conscious hip-hop” camp, and the themes that run through its music lyrically aren’t much different than anything you would find on a Mos Def or Common album. On one track, Knotz even breaks out the Fergie spelling bee trick, using phrases to spell out P-H-I-L-L-Y.

What you will find on 4,5,6 that you won’t find on your standard hip-hop album are tight guitar solos and the organic feeling that can only be created through a live band.

The Hustle has gotten most of its exposure thanks to the song “Run Wit Me,” but I’m not sure that “Philadelphia” isn’t a stronger track. It’s both a guidebook and a love letter to the city. “South Street in the Summer/ Parade with the Mummers/ West Philly Rastas, South Philly Hustlas, North Philly Drug Spots/ Anything under the sun you want they got/ believe me they got.”

Remember, The Hustle will be on stage at the Abbey Bar at ABC on Friday the 13th at 9:00pm.

This entry was posted by Justin Kunkel on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:58AM and is filed under Local Music, Millennium Music Conference, Events. Have something to add to conversation? Great! We welcome it in the comments section or on your own website via a trackback. You can follow all of our postings with our ATOM or RSS feeds.

- Justin Kunkel from Millennium Music


TC Jr. has released four independent albums in 2004/2005 and recent releases in 2009 on his own label, Mot Records. The first release on Mot Records was Monkey is as Monkey Is, which combined experimental guitar and world instrumentation. Mot Records second release was Basement Duets an acoustic guitar duet CD that utilized improvised and prepared guitar. Soon to be released on Mot records in summer of 2009 is Welcome to the Cosmic Square. As well as his new trio-The Lizards from Mars Trio-CD release "ZODI".

TC Jr. is also a member of the Band "The Hustle" from Philly, which is getting regular air play from their "4, 5, 6 EP on 88.5 WXPN. As a Member of the Burndown All-stars TC Jr played guitar on the release "Wake Up", that was released through the label: Rope a Dope Digital.



Tom Copson Jr. is an experimental guitarist that utilizes sounds ranging from Funk/Hip Hip, Rock, Experimental and World music.

TC Jr. currently has finished recording material for two new upcoming releases on Mot Records. Welcome to the Cosmic Square (TC Jr. Solo CD) and his new trio, The Lizards from Mars Trio release “Zodi” TC Jr. is also a current member of the Philly Hip-Hop band, The Hustle, which has been featured on 88.5 WXPN ‘s Volume 2 CD.
TC Jr. was also an active member of the Philly hip-hop group, The Burndown All-stars (BDAS) for the past 3 1/2 years and has shared stages with Common, SoJA, Steel Pulse and The Roots, and many more.

TC Jr. played lead guitar for BDAS until their break-up in 2008. BDAS was also named in 2007 the best independent band in the Northeast at the Independent Music World Series hosted by Disc Makers and Billboard Magazine. TC Jr. has also toured across the United States and Canada with BDAS and was also chosen to represent Philadelphia in the nationwide Bodog Music Battle of the Bands, a touring reality show, which aired on the Fuse Network.

Formed in the summer of ’09, The Lizards from Mars Trio is a collective side project formed to explore and experiment with various musical styles from around the world. Tom Copson Jr., the brain child of the group, is currently in the Philadelphia band, The Hustle, and was in the Burndown All-Stars for five years before that.

Bass player, Jake Leschinsky, and drummer, Rich Agren, are founding members of Swift Technique. Tom Copson met Rich and Jake at the Bitter End in New York City when their two groups were sharing a bill. After expressing appreciation and respect for each others groups, the trio came together with a common goal to explore various musical ideas outside of their current groups. Specifically, the group planned to experiment with Middle Eastern styles,combined with funk space rock.

The first EP, also released in the Summer of ’09, was recorded with the intent to capture a spontaneous, raw trio sound. Some of the tracks were left open for interpretation, while others were rigidly organized. This does not restrict the trio, however, as the group is considering several guests for performances and future recordings. There is one thing that will remain constant with this group, though. This will be the shared goal of constantly growing musically, while also expanding in musical styles and taste.