I have been in touch with Mahk Brizzy and Joe Substreight from Positive Vibr8ions since I took photos for their show (see below) at the Copper Dragon in Carbondale Illinois. Since then I traveled up to Champaign to take photos at the Canopy Club and I thought “these guys need an interview.” They have been putting together an awesome musical community to serve as a platform for amazing musical guests. They call this the Chalice Dubs Masquerade. They are very kind people and if you see them at a Masquerade be sure to say hello and send them some positivity.
What is the masquerade and how long has it been going on for?
The Masquerade is an event that Chalice Dubs and Jay Goldberg Events produce together, which is meant bring people together who are interested in electronic dance music (EDM) and EDM culture. At each show the venue is decorated and transformed to represent a theme, which our audience will often participate along with through costume and makeup. The music at our event features high energy, bass heavy, grimy EDM, which develops over the course of the night to create a special vibe that is halfway between a party and a show. The Chalice Dubs Masquerade is in its fourth year, however we have technically been throwing this party at The Canopy Club for five years now. Additionally, the Masquerade is somewhat of an evolution from a previous event know as Dubstep Massacre, which began back around 2008-09. That event began in downtown Champaign, but when the party moved to campus, it was re-branded to be more accessible to students in its new home at The Canopy Club.
Our artist selection process is an ongoing process that involves working with artists on a local, regional and national level. We work with various talent agencies to find artists that fit the vibe of the party and who can deliver a reliable performance. With the explosion of artists in the EDM scene, we find it important to ensure that our party has a reputation is based on quality and not just hype. We know that there are artists out there who can really rock a full house and we try to support those artists with our event and pair them up with our reputation of providing great music to some truly awesome fans.
Dj Solo has been pretty consistent with the Masquerade, what has tied him in with the Masquerade crew?
DJ SOLO is Awesome! Seriously, its not just his website’s name, he really is awesome. Chalice Dubs and DJ SOLO have been working together for awhile now. DJ SOLO supports the Masquerade as an musician as well as through other artistic avenues such as graphic design and promotion. We are good friends and we cooperate well together.
Where do you guys plan on taking the Masquerade?
We plan on taking the Masquerade on the road to other college towns and other cities where we can either help build the EDM culture or support the EDM culture that already exists.
As for Positive Vibr8ions, what is the next step?
Positive Vibr8ions is currently working on their first set of releases, which should be out in the next year. We have tried to be very patient whilst developing our sound, careful not to release anything prematurely. We are really excited to share our music with the world, and while close, its still not quite complete yet. We want to offer our fans some original music that represents our live sound, the Pos Vi8e sound that our fans have become accustomed to.
My trip to Chicago took me to an old favorite of mine, the Tonic Room. Located on Halsted right by the Fullerton Red Line and Depaul University. I was there to see a 3 piece bluegrass group from Southern Illinois called the Whistle Pigs that has started to gain some considerable steam in the areas surrounding Southern Illinois University. Playing nearly 200 shows a year has given them the ability to play in front of any crowd.
The Tonic Room is known for being the most haunted bar in Illinois with a history that includes a period of time as being a brothel and time where supposed ritual murders were carried out in the basement. However…there was nothing scary about this night. The Whistle Pigs did not disappoint the substantial crowd of Depaul students out of southern Illinois as well as a group of great fans that came all the way from Carbondale.
The group describes themselves on their website as “hillbilly music from southern Illinois” and I couldn’t disagree for a minute. Between their substantial beards, songs like “Prayer of the Banjo,” “I’m Broke,” “I Bought Whiskey,” & “Rainbows & Rednecks,” and a label called Mudstomp Records it’s hard to argue with their hillbilly credentials.
The set was energetic from start to finish. The group interacts with the crowd between and during pretty much every song. The Whistle Pigs seemed to pick up steam throughout the night as they recognized and called out to fans they knew had come all the way from back home. The band consists of “Banjo” Joe McCamish (also the main songwriter of the group) playing, you guessed it banjo, Nate Graham on the upright bass, and Alex Pape on the accordion (yes, the accordion).
I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a show in Chicago before that had fans square dancing, but it happened…more than once. People were dancing jigs all over the bar and the foot stamping rumbled the floor at one point. All in all, a great first experience with the band, I would recommend them to anyone that enjoys bluegrass music, so…EVERYONE!