Joe Con
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Joe Con

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Hip Hop Singer/Songwriter

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"Rockin' Out For A Cure-- ROCKS!!"

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - September 22, 2009 - One of our Hollywood landmarks — the famous and infamous Boardners, a snug little bar that has endured for nearly 70 years — was the venue for the Rockin’ Out for a Cure Concert — a very special event. Held in the charmingly eccentric patio, with huge old trees creating a canopy, and a lovely Moorish tiled fountain from another era, this evening couldn’t have been more of the moment. All kinds of music, all kinds of great treats available at a silent auction, and all kinds of people — everyone there with a common cause: raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with all proceeds going to support the fight against blood cancers. We may be living in a recession, but most blood cancers still aren’t. Rockin’ Out for a Cure was hosted by renowned stand-up comedian Steve Mazan, who has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and, most recently, The Late Show with David Letterman.

It included amazing bands and performers from the Los Angeles area that have huge fan followings. All the performers donated their time and talent for the cause, and to add to the casual fun of the evening, the audience had an opportunity to vote for their favorite bands by donating money into special ballot boxes in a friendly competition. The band with the most money in their box at the end of the night was the winner of this battle of the bands. All of the money earned through the voting will be donated in the winning band’s name to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The bands for the evening ranged from alternative to rap and were so diverse, there was music for all tastes.

fiction_nation_20090924Opening the show was Fiction Nation, a Silver Lake band, which set the tone of the evening with its riveting combination of alternative, Industrial, and new wave. Following them was Elemenopy (pronounced LMNOP) — a warm, friendly, lively and energetic rock duo described as “Simon and Garfunkel meets The Smashing Pumpkins.” Their performance was a combination of “vaudeville” and “Everyman,” with musicians Nick and Joel sharing equally all the instruments like two little kids playing a very accomplished game of one-upmanship.

We caught our breath next with Joe Con, who uses the tag “the word made fresh.” He worked alone with his guitar and harmonica, backed only by his buddy on the “cajon” literally – sitting on and playing a small rectangular wooden box that is indigenous to Peru. Joe took us through a series of journeys with his lyrics and then gave us a different taste of his work by intensely rapping an original song. Considering Con is originally from the bluegrass-covered hills of Kentucky, he smoothly combines Hip-hop while staying true to his country roots.

Dizzylilacs was a three-piece power band without the garage-band sound. Each of the members contributes completely different influences, which is the success of their original sound. The influences range from rock to jazz. In turn, the final product is straight ahead, melodic/indie rock, providing an emotional psychosis and creating an energetic performance.
Julie the Band

Julie the Band

The final band was Julie the Band, whose style is fervent indie rock performed with the passion of the band’s namesake spitfire. The story of how they got their name speaks volumes about the kind of music they play. Lifelong friends and Los Angeles residents, vocalist Nathan Blumenfeld-James and guitarist Dustin Bath found themselves walking out of a nightclub where a petite woman was being restrained by her friends from trying to “beat up” the bouncer. “Julie…Julie,” they said, “let’s just go home.” As her friends walked toward the car, Julie ran back toward the bouncer and got a hit in. “That fearless nature – that was what we had in our music,” says Dustin. “To be known for being fearless in the face of such odds was why we named the band Julie.”

Being fearless in the face of such odds was the undercurrent and purpose of this entire event. The evening is just a small sample of the dedication of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) members of the Team in Training Program to raise awareness and funds for their lifesaving mission to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. So far as an organization, LLS and Team in Training have raised over $850 million. The goal is to reach one billion by the year end. With evenings like this, which combine funding and fun for such noble causes, it seems that the ongoing work, which is so difficult to continue in these difficult times, will continue to gain momentum, with the light glowing more brightly at the end of an ever-shortening tunnel.

For more information and updates, go to Rockin’ Out for a Cure’s website pages on Facebook and MySpace.


- Buzzine.com


"NIGHTLIFE -- Awake Clique"

This Berkeley rap group calls its music conscientious hip-hop, mixing an anti-war message in songs that strive to enlighten as well as entertain listeners

MC Joe Conifer -- a.k.a. Joe Con -- is the cockeyed dreamer of Berkeley rap group Awake Clique, speaking in beautiful abstractions. "Awake Clique is about self-annihilation to be reborn in a better way," he says, his blue eyes earnest, a straw hat slightly askew on his head, a harmonica in hand.
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Dreadhead producer Dejah Fortune appears to have his feet more solidly on the ground, with a realistic perspective on life in the East Bay.

Young Caveman, a producer who, like Fortune, wears the more standard rap attire -- a black hoodie and beanie -- is quiet and deliberate when he speaks.

This trio makes up the center of Awake Clique, a 10-man music collective. Musically, the group refers to itself as "hard-core conscious hip-hop" because, as Fortune explains it, "Conscious hip-hop has a bad rap as being corny or soft. We want to say we're proud to be knowledgeable and smart without sacrificing our 'masculinity' or whatever you want to call it."

Joe Con, originally from Kentucky, grew up listening to Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan as well as Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Dr. Dre. He says he's both a born-again Christian and a conscientious objector to the war in Iraq. "We're all about challenging the main perceptions people have about everything," he says. "You have to analyze everything, whether that be the newspaper, what you see on the TV, the words in the holy book."

"Find your own truth," agrees Fortune, who grew up in Oakland listening to Jimi Hendrix and Too Short.

At the Ivy Room, all the members of Awake Clique will perform in various configurations. The collective's first project, Joe Con's "Awake and Dreaming" CD, which recalls the down-tempo grooves of A Tribe Called Quest's "Low End Theory," is due out May 1. Movies, visual arts and perhaps even a clothing line are in the works.

In the Bay Area, the "hyphy" sound is all the rage in hip-hop, which is all about "going dumb" or dancing as though you're out of your mind. "I go smart, that's what I say," explains Fortune, who says he respects where the hyphy movement is coming from.

"We have to expose and enlighten people about bull -- patriotic fervor," pipes up Joe Con. "That's how I get hyphy. They want people to go dumb. But I don't go dumb. I get hyphy and I stay smart. That's why I'm dangerous. That's why Malcolm X was dangerous. That's why Martin L. King was dangerous."

Awake Clique: Ivy Room, 858 San Pablo Ave., Albany. Thu., 10 p.m. Free. 21+. (510) 524-9220. www.ivyroom.com.

Lisa Hix, 96hours@sfchronicle.com - SF Chronicle


Discography

FREE!! Mixtape Download Available Now @ http://joecon.bandcamp.com

Selected Discography

Awake & Dreaming
Joe Con’s 17 track, 73 minute ultra-ambitious debut album is a tour de force, and not only because it aims higher, goes bigger, & attempts far more (though it doesn’t always succeed) than most rap music in recent memory ever dreams of. It covers so many points on the map, you have to wonder what Joe Con will do for an encore. Part artistic statement of purpose (“Code of the Soul,” “Live From Nonesuch”), part declaration of artistic freedom (“7Chakras,” “Fight For Peace”), & part prayerful hip-hop-ocalyptic call to arms for a new generation (“War with the Senses,” “I.D.,” “Yes I Confess”), the album announces the arrival of an artist who not only cannot abide by the creative status quo, but who actually illuminates a path way to overcoming it, through the transcendence of duality & into the new paradise beyond: “Over the ocean ’neath the underlying meaning/ Far from commotion where no one has demons/ And it all seems so real you can’t help but believe it/ Somewhere in between when you’re Awake and you are Dreaming/ We are somewhere in between when we’re Awake and we are Dreaming.”

Bad News First
Originally conceived of as the first disc of a double album called “Bad News First / Good News Last,” the songs in this collection find Joe Con in familiar territory: in between things, en route, on his way somewhere all big & new, and in quite a hurry to get there it would seem. Tracks like “Brick by Brick,” “Can’t Stop Now,” & “Saving Grace” all convey thoughts & images of motion & transition, full of characters who somehow manage to be properly aligned within their own little worlds, though still caught in a state of chaotic flux. Con’s writing & rhyming chops are obvious throughout. His cadence is evolved compared to previous work, his timing & timbre are tighter & stronger, and his delivery is the right combination of passionate heat & smooth style. You take the “Bad News First” every time, right?

The New Science
For all the inevitable haters & doubters reading this, still sleeping on Joe Con because you mistakenly believe that smart means soft, and that a farm bred white boy from Kentucky can’t speak to the streets, may I humbly present to you “The New Science.” In Con’s own words, the mix-tape style album is “the swaggadocious-est thing out.” For the uninitiated, he means that he’s doing what all good rappers do best: boasting, bragging, giving shout outs, & generally sh*t talking over a dizzying array of beats so trunk-thumpingly slaptastic that they could make Mac Dre himself wake up & ghost ride the grave. What sets Con apart is that he’s also doing what all great MC’s do best: taking abstract or complex concepts & ideas and translating them into powerful but digestible poetic statements that speak universal truths. Did that get too deep for you? Go back to sleep city boy…

iConoclast
Shit Yeah Bitch! Joe Con visits the island of Maui & learns a valuable lesson in Aloha from producer JMKill, whose epic sonic landscapes, composed of dark, heavy-metal dirges and hardcore, head banging drum & bass funk, provide the perfect canvas for Con’s intricate, vivid and often prophetic storytelling. An unlikely stylistic pairing on first glance, JC & JMKill prove not only that a pair of haoles can ride da riddim, but that there are still musical frontiers as new, as far out, & as scary beautiful as Hawaii itself. Eddie would go…

The Dish
Having crossed paths on numerous occasions in the Bay, and now both primarily based in LA, Joe Con & veteran producer ETHX finally team up on this collaborative EP. True to its name, “The Dish” serves up a savory, spicy blend of fresh flavors guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning hip-hop palette. A balanced buffet of organic & synthetic sounds from ETHX give chef Con all the ingredients he needs to cook up a fiery feast. So whether you’re a Joe Connoisseur, or you’re just hungry for some delicious new music, this is one dish that will have your friends & family begging for the recipe!
Bon appetit!

Straight Bourbon
30+ year industry diehard Producer/Engineer/Multi-Instrumentalist/Vocalist Jim Shirey wears many musical hats. For this project, he took an inexperienced, novice and practically broke but very eager singer-songwriter named Joe Con under his wing, befriending him & eventually inviting him to record in his home studio after being introduced by his son Paul, a good friend of Joe’s. Under Shirey’s watchful eye and expert ear, Con delivers his first ever acoustic project, a sparsely produced, intimate portrait of a dynamic artist cut his teeth in a new arena. Though just a demo, “Straight Bourbon” offers brief glimpses at greatness, and puts yet another twist on the Word Made Fresh.

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Awake & Dreaming (LP, 2005) available online @ cdbaby.com/cd/joecon

featuring the banger:

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Bio

Joe Con
 
Los Angeles, Ca. -  Joe Con is a multi genre artist, singer and songwriter. He has the unique ability to translate his own life experiences into songs with universal appeal.  This is an extraordinary gift. His musical arrangements are noteworthy for their powerful rhythms, dynamic vocals, catchy hooks and thought provoking lyrics. Joe Con is hip-hop at its finest. His humble demeanor and unassuming appearance hide a surprising swagger, confidence and magnetic stage presence, which, coupled with his dizzying wordplay and balanced blend of substance and style put Con head and shoulders above most of today's one dimensional rappers. He doesn't stop there, however. Not only does Con write and perform intelligent, imaginative and vivid hip-hop music, but he also plays guitar and harmonica with a bluesy folk/ rock style reminiscent of a young Bob Dylan or Neil Young, or more recently artists like  Beck, G. Love, & Jack Johnson. When you ask Joe about his long term musical goals, he speaks of building a bridge between roots and urban music. Although Joe walks in two very different musical worlds, his innate ability to unite multiple genres creates a fresh sound, sung by a fresh voice capable of capturing and holding the hearts of fans the world over.  Joe Con has already drawn comparisons to legendary performers and personalities of all eras of popular music culture, from John Lennon and Jim Morrison to Mickey Avalon and Kurt Cobain.

Whether rapping or singing and playing, on stage or in the studio, Joe Con works most closely with longtime collaborator and friend CAV3 (pronounced "Cave"), a super-producer, writer, singer, rapper and multi-instrumentalist who, in addition to working on a wide range of projects with various artists, also serves as Con's DJ, drummer, engineer and band mate. The pair met fortuitously on campus at UC Berkeley in 2003, and quickly began making music together. Along with MC Seneca, the two formed a group called Shadow Caste, playing underground shows throughout the Bay Area, and even recorded an LP called “Co-Pilot.” Though the group eventually disbanded, Con & CAV3 remained determined to answer their calling. Soon, they joined forces with several other musicians and artists to form a crew called Awake Click, living and working out of a rented home in South Berkeley. Dubbed "the Prince Street House," this became the group's headquarters, an often chaotic but nonetheless thriving community that not only fostered much creative and spiritual growth, but also provided the launching pad and inspiration for Joe Con's first album, "Awake & Dreaming." Completed and released independently in 2006, the 18 track album (produced predominantly by CAV3) features guest production by Dejah Fortune, a longtime friend and collaborator who remains close to the camp, as well as artwork by founding Awake Click member Davey Detail. "A&D" also includes a guest appearance by MC Shing02, whose work on the song "War with the Senses" helped lead to the track's inclusion on Quiksilver's surf film "Young Guns 3." Though CAV3 continues to work with many artists, including Shing02, he & Con's musical bond has never been stronger. The pair are actively performing throughout the Los Angeles area, continuing to hone their craft and build a following while compiling tracks for Joe Con's newest album, "The Word Made Fresh."
 
The album's first single is “15 minutes," an undeniable hit about navigating the pitfalls and excesses of fame. Produced by CAV3 (who else?), the track's title is a reference to Andy Warhol's famous quote: “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Not to be outdone, Joe Con has coined his own version of the phrase: “Give us 15 minutes of fame and we’ll change the world.” The song announces the arrival of a new artist with vision and great potential for immediate impact and lasting success. Poignant and poetic, yet fiery, sexy and danceable, "15 Minutes" is three and a half minutes of hip hop perfection with universal appeal that will soon be heard everywhere, from the streets to the club, to college campuses and headphones across the globe.   

In 2006 “Awake & Dreaming” was completed. In 2007 “ConCave:  ZooLife” was completed.  Both are available for purchase at most i-stores.
 
Joe Con’s newest CD, “The Word Made Fresh” is set for release in summer, 2010. 
 
Joe Con has opened for Snoop Dogg on January 21, 2010 at The Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, Ca. 
 
You can log onto any of the following websites to purchase and/or listen to Joe Con’s music:
 
www.myspace.com/joeconifer
www.sonicbids.com/wordmadefresh
www.joecon.wordpress.com
www.thearkatype.com
 
Joe Con is currently working under A & R Select in West Hollywood, Ca. for publishing, licensing and/or placement purposes. 
 
For additional information, please contact:
 
A & R Select

WHO IS JOE CON?

Joe Con is a Kentucky born, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter who writes and performs orig