In the years that I've written for The Weekly Volcano, I've covered a lot of music stories. And while they have all been about great local artists, most of them have been some sub-genre of rock. Of course, I enjoy other music and I definitely love me some hip-hop, but let's face it; I'm a rock writer. Plus, we've got Volcano writers Josh Rizeberg and Nic Leonard keeping their finger on the hip-hop pulse. What did I need to go meddling in hip-hop for?
But, when AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods came onto my radar, I felt compelled to write about them. Besides lyrical flow with heady concepts and the occasional playfulness from front man AKA, (Mark Bowmen), there's also soul and electronic and funk. There's Nathlie Elam with her stunning back-up vocals, Andrew White on keyboard, Adam Bakotich on electric guitar (he's also in the metal band Murder Your Gods), Joe Pearce on acoustic/electric, Josh White on drums and Rolando Guajardo as DJ Boozie Collins and sax player.
AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods is a full band with full sound. And they are talented and they are good.
AKA has been in the music scene for years, as have the other members, but in the past six months, the group has fallen together at the right place at the right time, recording demos, playing shows and gaining fans. (It recently won best live hip-hop performance at the Oly Music Awards.)
At first, just Andrew White and AKA started laying down jams, then the other members started rolling into place. While working with a group has its setbacks - especially for someone who has been solo for so long - AKA says the experience has been wonderful and that he gets to let go of the control process and trust other talented musicians.
"This is a great transitional time for us, we've got big things coming," says AKA. "We're just going to keep pushing forward with great music."
The group will be completing its album, Heart Hurt Good, Nov. 1. It was recorded at Olympia's Sbvdsn Studios, and the group plans to tour in March.
"We make love music - music that stands the test of time," AKA says. "There are so many facets of love that we have the space and room to be creative however we want. There's a real happy, fluffy love, and then there's demented love, so there will always be at least one person to relate."
Relate for yourself at reverbnation, soundcloud, or in person at McCoy's Tavern Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. during Fall Arts Walk in downtown Olympia. The $3 cover includes performances by AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods, Moth Rider (Oly Music awards Best Electronic music award) and Boozie Collins (of Heart Hurt Goods/ Subdivision studios)
(McCoy's Tavern, 418 4th Ave, Olympia, 360.352.0696)