Hip hop artist Brother Ali performs for a live audience at the Twin Cities Public Television studios. Ali and host Dessa discuss hip hop culture, social justice, and the place for politics in art. Songs performed: Mourning in America, Fajr, Uncle Sam Goddamn, Forest Whitiker.
Celebrating the dynamic Minnesota music scene, the Emmy award-winning THE LOWERTOWN LINE showcases emerging musical acts performing concert-style for a studio audience, as well as at several venues in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. Episodes also include interview segments and "day in the life" scenes with the artists. The 21-part music series features a wealth of talent across an array of genres, including indie rock, hip-hop, folk, country, jazz and R...B, with several episodes hosted by rapper, singer, essayist and hip hop artist Dessa. Singer and songwriter Chastity Brown, who's opened for Ani DiFranco, performs before a live audience,and sits down for an intimate conversation with Dessa, discussing "porch culture" in Brown's native Tennessee, spirituality in singing, and storytelling through music. Three-piece garage rock band The Blind Shake performs live at The Amsterdam Bar and Hall in Saint Paul,and talks about their aesthetic, their penchant for old school recording techniques, and Minnesota's connection to surf music. Band Davina and the Vagabonds blow the roof off the studio as they mix classic jazz standards with contemporary originals. In between song performances, Davina discusses the many hats she wears as bandleader, road manager and business-person, and talks about her songwriting technique and insatiable need to collect items from the past. Filled with dynamic performances and insightful conversations, THE LOWERTOWN LINE aims to capture the depth, variety and inventiveness of the musicians and bands that call the Twin Cities home.