17th Annual KOTO Doo-Dah: Thievery Corporation

17th Annual KOTO Doo-Dah: Thievery Corporation

THIEVERY CORP POSTERWith special guests, The Pimps of Joytime & DJ I-Gene

Thievery Corporation is a Washington D.C.-based recording artist and DJ duo comprised of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton and supporting artists Rob Myers, Frank “Booty Lock” Mitchell, Jeff Franca and Ashish Vyas. Their music style is a mashup of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian.

Formed in the summer of 1995 at D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge, Garza and lounge owner Hilton bonded over their mutual tropism for club life, plus dub, bossa nova, and jazz recordings. Their idea was to see what would come of mixing these passions together. The result: their Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label, which has released six albums – the latest is Culture of Fear, sports funk and soul, with a soupçon of dub and reggae – in a virtual United Nations of languages, including English, French, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian and Hindi, reflecting their world music influences.

The DIY approach clearly hit a nerve: Thievery is now one of the most influential and respected names on the electronic/dance music scene.

Thievery Corporation headlines the 17th Annual KOTO Doo-Dah. The concert takes place Saturday, August 24, in Telluride Town Park. The Pimps of Joytime & DJ I-Gene are also features. Gates at 4 p.m.

Thievery Corporation has almost always taken progressive political stances on various issues, opposing war and exploitative trade agreements, while supporting human rights and food programs. Culture of Fear pays those convictions forward, addressing the socially conscious themes Thievery Corporation began to explore in depth in 2002 when they released their third studio album, The Richest Man in Babylon, which incorporated protest music into their sound.

“We’re probably more radical in our political beliefs than most of the hardcore punk bands,” Hilton says, “but at the same time, we’re realistic about what we can actually do. We feel like our role is to be commentators.”

Adds Garza: “The best thing we can do is try to open people’s minds.”

For both Hilton and Garza, the seeds for their shared philosophy were sown while growing up near the nation’s capitol, which spawned numerous progressive punk bands over the years, such as Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and Fugazi.

“We’re influenced by that mentality, but our music doesn’t need to be about super aggressive guitars or hard-charging beats to convey our feelings,” Hilton says. “Sometimes you can just break things down and be more subtle.” 

Tickets, $35 prior to the show; $40 day of show, VIP $70 (and $75, day of show) are available at tickets@koto.org, in person at 207 North Pine, or call 970-728-4334. Also Wizard Entertainment, 126 East Colorado and Southwest Sound, Durango. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.

For a preview of what’s in store at KOTO’s Doo-Dah, watch this video.

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