I decided to attend the Wiltern Theater’s KONGOS show recently and I am very pleased that the ticket that I had bought did not go to waste.
For those that read my column, a few stories ago you know what I am talking about. The show was a fine example of a more mature and sophisticated KONGOS which is what is supposed to happen when a band goes out on the road.
KONGOS members are a band of brothers that hail from Arizona and are the scions of South African singer/songwriter John T. Kongos who is best known for his 1971 Top 10 hit single “He’s Gonna Step On You Again.” Other hits by Kongos include “Tokoloshe Man” and “I Love Mary."
Kongos had these boys learning music before they could speak from what I’ve heard and they cut their eye teeth on musical instruments. Their mother Shelley is also a gifted artist and considered rock royalty.
KONGOS members are: Johnny who plays accordion, keyboards and aids in the group's vocals; Jesse who is a beast on the drums, keeps the beat with all percussion and some vocals; Daniel who slaps the guitar in ways that remind me of Jimi Hendrix with his innovativeness and adds to the vocals; Dylan who plays bass guitar, lap slide guitar and a major part of the vocals.
Hate to admit that when I first saw that accordion come out, my mind immediately went to Lawrence Welk and I thought OMG. Happy to say that Johnny put that stereo type out of my faulty thinking completely and has really added an extra flavor to their music which has been dubbed a “novelty” aspect which pulled the sound together in “Come With Me Now.” This very forceful song has been certified platinum and has been used by Universal Studios on a commercial for their theme parks. This song rocks a lot harder live than on their album.
The KONGOS brothers cite their father as the biggest influence on their music and who can blame them.
This tour is the first time that there was a budget for production and the budget was spent with an awesome lighting technique, flashes of strong visuals and music that hits the stomach hard. “Take It From Me” blasted a lion’s head in the light show and the video of this song featured the brothers with large heads. “Take it From Me” is a number one song and is a cut off of their new album “Egomaniac.”
Be advised that KONGOS, and not The Kongos, are not a toe-tapping band. Wear your dancing shoes when experiencing this ensemble as once the music begins you cannot stop moving.
The most impressive encore tune that KONGOS performed was a New Wave hit by New Order titled “How Does It Feel,” which was tossed out there from left field. I wasn’t expecting that, but hey these guys surprised me with a BEATLE tune as well.
All of the brothers are trained piano players that grew up in London, England, South Africa and now Arizona in the US who categorize their music as “alternative.”
I was particularly happy to see that Dylan is still performing in his bare feet and he still likes to jump up and down. If I ever get a chance to interview them live, my first question would be for Dylan and why he performs in his bare feet.
When I went to the Roxy to catch another view of The Solutions doing their thing, I met up with sisters and ladies about the K-POP scene, the NUTTY NOMADS. These ladies know their K-POP and Korean Indie music better than anyone that I’ve met thus far.
Want to know what’s going on in the K-POP realm? Follow these sisters on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter and keep tabs on what’s up in the realm of Korean entertainment.
The NUTTY NOMADS are blood sisters Daniella and Christine whose education prepped them for bigger and better things to come.
Daniela attended film school at Savannah College of Art & Design and her first job in the business was at NBC Universal Studios in the post production as a coordinator for their TV department.
Christina studied communication at the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill which is what she is…an awesome communicator. She’s also served as a production assistant on various TV shows such as “Outlaws” and “Switched At Birth.”
Their attorney father first got them hooked as young girls on J-POP because he would go to Japan and bring back music for them to enjoy. Their best memory is of “Kinky Kids.”
This dynamic duo first made NUTTY NOMADS a reality in 2011 and went legit 2013 with an LLC status. They’ve even hosted their own TV show for KCON TV on MNET America. They hosted a slot titled “Hello Pop” for one year as “field correspondents.”
NUTTY NOMADS are serious about their calling and when they set out to do a segment it is with three suitcases full of equipment…three cameras, lights and mics. Their segments may now be viewed on YouTube or on their website at nutty nomads.com. They have 174 videos logged in there.
Their fandom doesn’t end with K-POP and Korean Indie, it also encompasses the realm of K-Drama. For this duo K-Drama wasn’t the gateway drug to K-POP. They began watching it after their tastes were firmly ensconced in K-POP and Korean Indie.
Their favorite K-Drama series as of now are: “Coffee Prince,” “Boys Over Flowers” and a J-Drama that morphed into a K-Drama “Scarlet Heart.” They do enjoy the Flower Boy series “Jealousy Incarnate” and “Cinderella and "The Fair Knight.”
For all of their interest in Korean entertainment, the NUTTY NOMADS have not been to Korea as yet, but is in their future plans.
Currently this duo recommends “YB” as the ones to pay attention to. They believe that “YB” are a Korean version of “Aerosmith” and add that they play in Los Angeles a lot at local venues such as the Whiskey A Go Go. “YB” have also played at SXSW in 2012.
Their mother had planned their close births so that the girls would be friends. More than friends, these ladies compliment each other’s work which is an organic blend of their talents. For example, one will write and film and the other will edit.
NUTTY NOMADS would like to hear from you so start following them and get into the K-POP groove.
Congrats to 75-year-old bard Bob Dylan for his Nobel Literature Prize for lifetime achievement. This award is well earned for his thought provoking lyrics from his career and not for any one piece.
Dylan’s influence upon the literary world can be witnessed on college campuses as there are classes that deal solely with the works of Dylan.
I’ve read that he does not plan on attending the ceremony, no judgement here as I’ll never see the likes of a $900,000 prize for my work so who am I to say.