Wheelchair Sports Camp

Hip Hop / Synth Rock

Wheelchair Sports Camp


Thu, March 8, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$12.00 - $26.00

This event is 21 and over

Wheelchair Sports Camp
Wheelchair Sports Camp
Denver's biggest smallest band.

"If there were ever a moment for a queer, disabled rapper with a love for pot, jokes, and revolution to be a star, the moment is now" - Village Voice

Combining humor, playfulness, radical political perspectives, compassion and undeniable musical chops, Wheelchair Sports Camp is unlike any other hip-hop act around. Fronted by the wheelchair bound MC/beat-maker/activist/educator/shit-talker Kalyn, the band is a combination of live and electronic instruments with a more noisey, jazzy, experimental, combination to the traditional hip-hop group. The band has been featured on the cover of the Village Voice as well as in SPIN Magazine, Huffington Post, High Times Magazine and more. You can't really pin Kalyn's beats and collaborators to a specific era or subgenre of hip-hop, and she always switches up her configuration and presentation and methodology while making the music happen in consistently fascinating ways.

The band unknowingly started in the summer of 1997 when Kalyn moved back from Burbank, CA to her Denver hometown and was invited to attend and corrupt the 14th annual week-long Wheelchair Sports Camp. The band tours the states and beyond from their home in Denver, Colorado.
Fate, serendipity, kismet, cosmic coincidence, chemical chance. Something inexplicable brought Rubedo together. The band's name comes from an alchemical concept and that seems appropriate enough when you spend any amount of time around these guys or just listen to their recorded output.

Gregg Ziemba, Kyle Gray and Alex Raymond all met before getting out of high school and were all recognized as creative talents in their youth that would blossom later in life. They were jazz guys then and you can still hear that spontaneity honed by discipline in their music now. But when Kyle went on an existential/spiritual journey, hiking across the country he woke up one day after an epiphany struck him and he called Gregg to start the band.

It clicked from there and the duo got together with Alex and started a band that had that informal structure and flexibility of free jazz, the noisy psychedelic freakout instincts of the wilder ends of The Mars Volta and a deeply rooted sense of compassion for each other and the rest of humanity that informs how these guys operate and engage with the rest of the world. That wellspring of good instincts, good spirits and psychological and creative openness that drew the band to interesting experiences and unexpected opportunities the list of which reads like fiction.

It started with the band meeting Isaiah "Ikey" Owens, the keyboardist of The Mars Volta, who has gone on to become a friend, mentor and collaborator with the band as well as producing Rubedo's first album, Massa Confusa, and its latest opus, Love Is the Answer. Owens was like the god Janus that opened some doors for and within the band, challenging it to step up and not merely be a local phenomenon.

Through the DIY space Unit E, Rubedo had the chance in 2012 to curate the Blacktop Music Festival and shutting down a couple of streets in downtown Denver--something that rarely happens for much of anything beyond the occasional parade or visits from heads of state. In 2013, Rubedo was also asked to perform at Denver International Airport for a month, several hours a day. Experimental rock bands don't get asked to do things like that but that's the story of Rubedo.

Its music is out of left field but incredibly accessible. It has a core of improvisation built into the sound, the performances and the songwriting but never feels self-indulgent. There is something inviting about the band's music even in its most fiery moments like you're sharing the same dream, the same feelings without being subsumed by anyone else's vision.

Love Is the Answer may sound like a hippie platitude but with Rubedo it is a simple formula for salving the ails of the modern psyche without telling you how that has to look, the form it has to take and without suggesting a timeframe. Rather, it is a fundamental statement of everyday spiritual solidarity with the struggles of being alive and a subtle but powerful act of kindness given from that tranquil place in all of us we must cultivate in these troubled times.
Venue Information:
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
1215 20th Street
Denver, CO, 80202