Gungor, The Brilliance, Propaganda

Gungor

The Brilliance

Propaganda

Fri, March 1, 2019

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$25.00 - $39.00

VENUE INFORMATION & POLICIES
Common Grounds is an outdoor venue with standing room only. In case of extreme weather, the show may be moved. Set times are subject to change. No SLR cameras or removable lenses will be permitted. Children three years of age and under do not require a ticket to attend. No pets other than service animals are allowed at the venue during a show.

 

PLEASE PARK RESPECTFULLY
Parking is available in the parking lot behind the venue, or in the Baylor 8th St. Parking Garage on weekends and after 5pm on weekdays.

For more information on shows and upcoming events, subscribe to our email list at www.cgwaco.ticketfly.com.

Gungor
Gungor
We don’t have to look far to find the results of what happens when filters are removed and people create what they think they want to create. Most often, it’s chaos.
It takes the truly gifted artist, at the exact moment when personal uncertainty is as its peak, to reach within and draw out music both noticeably free from constraints and laser-like in its focus.
Michael Gungor, through the musical collective known simply as Gungor, has achieved just such a work. Setting aside his reliance on what he called “metaphysical constructs I’d known all my life,” Gungor has tapped his considerable musical reserves for a song set simultaneously re- velatory in its lyrical content, ambitious in its sonic scope and compelling in its approachability.
Finally given the opportunity to self-identify, Gungor uses his skills as an accomplished multi- instrumentalist, arranger and producer on “I Am Mountain” to kick off a journey of stories told, some personal, some allegorical, but all honest and forthright.
“There’s that sense of searching, wandering and loss within all these songs,” Michael says. “On the other side of that, there’s a rebirth of hope and life within that. There’s a freedom and em- brace of mystery and the unknown, and finding a joy and childlikeness within that.”
Michael’s path of creative rediscovery allows the tracks on “I Am Mountain” to exist in their own needs, be it the dark east/west musical dichotomy of “The Beat of Her Heart” or the me- lodic hooks of “Long Way Off,” from the galloping synths of “God And Country” to the descent from beauty into deconstruction in “Upside Down.”
Michael shares vocalizations in Gungor with wife Lisa, and together they interact, counter-play and underscore each song’s arc with precision and versatility, be it the plaintive whisper of “Yesternite,” the lost-then-found effect choices made on “Wandering” and ‘70s-era evocation on the chorus of “Let It Go”.
In this age of musical homogeneity, such diversity might be a danger sign. But Gungor’s deft manipulation of such moments piques interest not only in the immediacy of an individual song, but throughout the album’s listening experience as a whole. That variety is most assuredly on purpose.
“I recently had the best meal of my life, an eight-course Japanese/sushi thing,” Michael says, “and just the balance of the plates they’d bring and how they handled each of the flavors after the next to build to something, it was amazing.
“That’s how I wanted to approach this record,” he continues. “To have a palate cleanser when its needed, something easy to go down, a breath for a second when things get too dark or heavy.
“Any good film, meal, symphony, album, whatever, has those kinds of moments that allow you to breathe.”
The Brilliance
The Brilliance
In a world where hate is the language of the day, racial tension runs high, violence is a means to an end and shootings are a common occurrence, it’s easy to give in to despair. Yet, in the midst of New York City, one of the country’s most diverse and socially involved cities, lies a musical collective creating art that’s counter cultural. With their second full-length project in partnership with Integrity Music, David Gungor and John Arndt—otherwise known as The Brilliance—are suggesting that perhaps All Is Not Lost.

The two men have shared a brotherly bond since childhood when their fathers played in a wedding band together in the ’70s. Throughout college, they made music together in a variety of bands. When David began leading worship at Trinity Grace Church’s Tribeca Parish in New York City, he wanted to write original music for his congregation that followed the liturgical calendar, so he sent some ideas to Arndt, and a unique musical journey began as the two, along with an ensemble of musician friends, began recording under the moniker of The Brilliance. Inspired by neoclassical music, their sound is built on piano and string arrangements and rarely follows traditional pop form.

Their critically-acclaimed Integrity Music debut, Brother, was a peacemaking opus that introduced the duo’s eloquent use of minimalism in the vein of Sufjan Stevens and Philip Glass to an audience beyond their faithful legion of fans who followed them during their years as an independent band. The title track became an important anthem of unity, breaking down barriers between race, religion and socioeconomic status. Moreover, Worship Leader magazine named "Brother" their No. 1 album pick in 2015.

Now, with All Is Not Lost, The Brilliance hopes to continue the conversations they sparked with Brother, inviting listeners farther along on a journey toward peace.
Propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda’s music is about both divergence and connection. The rapper, raised and bred in Los Angeles, sees the intersection of all things and celebrates it in each song. His music is like the man himself, the result of many elements coming together.Propaganda grew up in a working class black family in a mostly Latino neighborhood of LA. His dad brought home a new record every week and soul music and hip­hop blared through the house as Latin­inspired tunes blared outside. There was a sense of multiculturalism from the very beginning and Prop saw how one person’s problem could very similar to that of another person, no matter their surface differences. His dad was a Black Panther, which also inspired the rapper’s worldview. “I saw this black brilliance and innovation of people of color as I was growing up,” he notes. “It was so much more intriguing than slanging on the corner. I fell in love with hip­hop really young. For me, that was the origin of wanting to create music.”He wasn’t sure music could be a career, though, so Prop went to college and graduated with degrees in illustration and intercultural studies. He spent six years teaching high school and had a hand in founding two charter schools in LA, one of which had a focus on the arts. Music lingered, despite any other successes, and Propaganda joined up with hip­hop collective the Tunnel Rats. By 2007, he quit teaching to pursue music full­time and began touring as a solo artist. He joined the Humble Beast family and unveiled a series of four albums that put his music on the map. Propaganda’s 2014 album, Crimson Cord, was released for free, but still managed to top several Billboard Charts. He’s toured with krs­one, Murs, De La Soul and Lecrae, and played Warped Tour, Rock The Bells and Smokeout Festival. And now Propaganda is ready to take his songs to the next level with Crooked, his fifth solo album. Crooked is the result of two years worth of writing and recording, much of which was done in Portland. Unlike on previous albums, Prop wrote and rewrote and then rewrote again. He focused on each track to ensure that the messages were conveyed in the most effective and compelling way possible, and enlisted the help of the Humble Beast crew, as well as Copeland’s Aaron Marsh, during the recording. “It took a long time,” Propaganda admits. “But this is probably the best record I’ve madebecause I had so long to do it.”The album draws its name from the idea that we’re all working towards perfection in an imperfect way. It’s about the idea of a crooked individual who has crooked relationship inside of a crooked system set up by crooked people for crooked gain, where everyone longing for a day when the crooked is made straight. It’s only in his faith and belief in an eventual day of reckoning that the individual finds solace. That

theme is explored in the songs, which also grapple with Standing Rock, white supremacy, the patriarchy and self­hate within the black community. It all ties together in the subject of intersectionality, a concept used to describe the ways that oppressive systems are all connected and cannot be dealt with individuality. Prop was inspired by watching his wife, a first generation Mexican woman, face misogyny and sexism. He saw parallels to his own struggles as a black man and wanted to discuss that in his music. “This year I’ve been interested in interlocking systems of injustice,” Propaganda says.“That’s where my head has been. I’ve watched my wife run so hard into patriarchal systems and seen the misogyny she’s dealt with. It’s made me realize how overlapping our issues are. In my life I watch all these overlaps and I wanted to step into that space talk about how we’re all connected. And I know I’m indicted in all these structures I’m trying to take down. I talk about patriarchy and misogyny, but I know I still benefit from being a guy. I need to own that. On this album I’m exploring alot of ideas, including my relationship to my wife and two kids and how to love them better.”For Propaganda, art is the essence of everything. It represents the mouth of the river from which all of human culture flows, and it’s important to him to address it at its source. Crooked takes on a lot of big ideas and deals with issues that have no easy solution. But it asks questions and seeks a response from its listener, encouraging a dialogue that hopefully will incite tangible change. “I believe in art for art’s sake,” Prop says. “I think art is what makes us human. I believe art actually shapes and gives commentary to the human experience. That belief has never changed for me. But my music has evolved. I see music as my native tongue, but I continue to ask myself how I should convey my ideas best with art. How do I get to the top of culture and shape it there?”Propaganda’s ideas stem from where he sits at the intersection. He sees how cultures cross and inspire one another, and he knows that we are all connected. He’sworked with church leaders to discuss race relations in America, spoken out in meetings about global hunger and talked to politicians about police reform. He’s a degree or two of separation away from the who’s who of the LA hip­hop scene and he knows how all those career paths cross and diverge. For Prop, music is way to create conversations about bigger things that impact us on a daily basis and to see how faith can help guide us along the way. Crooked is the spark for a much larger fire. “It’s hip­hop, but it’s bigger than hip­hop,” the rapper says. “Everything I’ve done and everything I’ve experienced shows up in my music. It’s why my music takes the shape that it takes and why it is relatable to a variety of people.”
Venue Information:
Common Grounds
1123 S. 8th Street
Waco, TX, 76706
http://cgwaco.com