In the past, inviting local musicians into our office to perform songs for our staff seemed novel, if not perfectly appropriate. Of course, times have changed; and we really don’t know when we’ll be able to extend these invites again. Worse still, this whole Coronavirus thing has put the breaks on music performances in general–severely limiting the ability of local artists to make a living. Of course, you can still stream your favorite artists, purchase physical or digital copies of their music, etcetera. And you can still watch many of the best Northeast Florida artists perform at Void HQ, below!
Che Forreign has questions
Che Forreign–the singer, MC, songwriter, and member of the popular local hip hop collective LOVE Culture–can certainly captivate an audience.
At a recent and somewhat revelrous gathering in Void’s new Jax Beach headquarters, Che had the group on-hand in the palm of her hand–bringing a hushed silence over the space, before leading the group in a positive affirmation, encouraging them to sit and listen (which they did), and then holding them at attention through a performance of several tracks, including this sultry, inquisitive, slow-burn “Questions”, which appears on Che’s latest and very good EP Self-ISH.
Sailor Goon helps us break in our new digs
The soulful, singular singer-songwriter has perfected a DIY-approach to creating her distinctive brand of bedroom-pop, tossing scraps of tasteful tunes to her increasingly rabid audience via Soundcloud, as well as enjoyably surreal visuals on Youtube.
The 21-year old has only been performing as Sailor Goon for a little over a year, and she’s still fairly new to the music-making process. Her output thus far is consistently exciting and unique. Here she performs the track “Sulfur” in our then-under-construction new headquarters.
The Mighty LPT barely fit in our old offices
When Riverside’s mighty Afro-Cuban Salsa band, LPT, stopped by the Void office on what was an otherwise fairly run-of-the-mill Friday afternoon, our staff here was primed. We were well aware that LPT, a “party band” that can flat-out play their asses off, had a reputation for goading even the most disinterested wallflowers out onto the dance floor. And for at least a few of us, little encouragement was needed. Specifically, our talented Sr. Designer, Kiara, whose family hails from Puerto Rico and—like the members of LPT—has the rhythm of the clave wired into her DNA.
In this video, the first of our Into the Void: Office Music Series, eight members of the 10-piece band—fronted by Void Mag contributor Josué Cruz—came into our humble office space and tore through three songs of killer Latin-style music, combining the traditional with current flavors, as members of our staff (and Kiara’s parents) danced to the infectious rhythm.
Whether piloting a setup of turntables for an inclusive DJ set at a DIY venue, moderating a mayoral candidate Q&A in a formal setting, or rocking the mic among the couches and cubicles of Void’s office, if there’s a space to perform, Geexella finds a way to take center stage.
The singer-MC-DJ-activist, along with legendary producer and hip-hop artist Willie Evans, Jr., stopped by a few months ago and turned our communal area into a revelrous venue. While the performance included spurts of fun banter and plenty of audience participation, Geexella’s music served as master of ceremonies, as the young, multi-hyphenate charmed and enraptured our staff with a trio of tunes from a burgeoning catalogue that address a range of topics from self-empowerment, activism, and internal reflections, set to beats that showcase the artist’s multifarious influences.
Click play and watch Geexella shine.
Swimm-ing at Void HQ
“I dreamt that I made love to a thousand exes,” sings Chris Hess, guitarist/vocalist for the LA-by-way-of-SoFla indie band Swimm. The line serves as an introduction to the motif he plays with throughout the arrestingly performed, yet cheekily written tune “1000 Lovers” from the group’s 2017 release, Sentimental Porno.
While we didn’t ask Hess whether he drew inspiration from any love interests in the Northeast Florida area–he very well could have as an early iteration of his group, Le Blorr, was a mainstay on the local scene, as well as early Void parties–it’s abundantly clear from this performance that Hess is more than just a pretty voice. Porno piled up accolades upon its release–due in large part to that gorgeous, raspy delivery, sure. But more importantly, the album is chalked full of uniquely and playfully constructed soundscapes and poetry.
A combo of hard work, skill, and creativity has the band poised for a breakthrough. Yet, they still have time to grace their native Sunshine State every so often. A few months ago, Hess stopped by Void HQ and played a solo set of tunes from the Swimm catalogue.
Click play to watch him perform “1000 Lovers.”
9E disinfects our offices with “Poison”
Though they would probably not like us saying so, the members of 9E are perfectly suited for the role of elder statesmen of Northeast Florida’s rock n’ roll scene. A relative Jax-supergroup if there ever was one, the band stays true to the tried-and-true (the core, if you will) bass-drums-guitar-guitar quartet model. They make cool, heavy rock, blending an apt rhythm section—compliments of Brent Knoechel and Don Nicol (formerly of popular local act Strange Friend)—with the synergy of the decades-long musical partnership between Darkhorse Saloon guitarist Jason Hoey and Beach’s Renaissance Man Tony Prat (a relationship that spans something like a half dozen groups, including the ahead-of-its-time duo Cobain’s Brains). After a short hiatus, 9E is booking shows again. For now, we’ll have to satisfied watching them disinfect Void HQ with the track “Poison.”
Mr. Al Pete on Ice (Man)
Mr. Al Pete’s “Ice Man” is surely one of the standout tracks on our second all-local compilation, Void on Vinyl (Vol. 2). Backed by a signature Al Pete beat–retro, soulful, dynamic–Pete waxes nostalgic about the Duval he knew coming up as a youngster.
Click play to take a visit to Mr. Peterson’s neighborhood.
DL is OK is more than OK
St. Augustine’s DL is OK went #IntoTheVoid, plugging in and crooning through a stripped-down set of agreeable tunes from his catalogue, including this exceptionally warm one, “Into The Flood.” While DL’s studio work is a little Knopfler, a little Petty, maybe a little Adam Granofksy (to use a contemporary example), scaled back as he was at Void HQ, one could hear all of those things–plus, perhaps a little Jeff Buckley on those soaring chorus vocals. All the feels, man!
Click play to watch DL go #IntoTheVoid with “Into The Flood.”
LOVE Culture inspires
As you’ve likely heard us say before: We love, love, love L.O.V.E. Culture. The Jax-based artist collective has been extremely prolific over the last few month’s, dropping new EPs and solo projects, landing on a Sprite Playlist, and bringing their League Of Vibrant Energies show on the road, performing for a vastly expanding local audience.
Click play to see L.O.V.E. Culture go #intothevoid with a performance of “Molds” from the group’s full-length, Fluidity. The track seeks to be a reminder to pursue positivity through life’s ups and downs. Dig in!
Darkhorse Saloon rattles the walls
When North Florida heavies, Darkhorse Saloon dropped by the Void offices to lay down some tracks, we were certain that a tastefully belligerent set of riff-heavy rock n’ roll was imminent. Knowing the Saloon boys as well as we do—they appeared in our first issue—we did our best to prepare our humble, exposed-ceiling-and-concrete-walled space for the pulsing basslines, heavy riffage, and lead singer Michael Fitzgerald’s primal yowl.
Dig in to the full performance below!
To view any Into The Void: Office Music Series performance we’ve ever recorded, head to our YouTube channel, WATCHVOID, and be sure to subscribe!