Secret Agent 23 Skidoo at The Orange Peel on Saturday

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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A guaranteed good time! Here’s the press release:

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Infinity Plus One Album Release Show
The Orange Peel
June 4, 2016
Tickets: $5

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has just gone supernova. His new album, Infinity Plus One, out on July 15, is a mind-blowing Big Bang of intergalactic rap and stellar storytelling. Riding a tidal wave of awesome, 23 Skidoo celebrated a fantastic year by making a complex and spectacular all-ages album in Infinity Plus One. After a Grammy nomination and a headlining spot at India’s first live music family festival, his high spirits and globetrotting
adventures inspired a fun, high energy, positive ride through space and time.

In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, Jim Henson and Pixar, Infinity Plus One is a universal
message folded into an album of sophisticated, deep and funky music. Eclectic hip hop blends with New Orleans brass, gypsy swing and southern funk to create landscapes for strange,
reality warping stories and witty wordplay unlike anything usually heard in the family realm. Like great young adult fiction, this entertainment transcends an age group, and is created for
adventurous and curious minds that are ready to open up. Inspired by golden age hip hop, old school R&B and 70’s funk, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo makes sure the beats crack, the horns are rich and the melodies lift you away to unknown dimensions.23Skidoo_Photo_3

This shining constellation of songs spans stories of a moth flying to the moon on “Glimmer” and a girl scientist building an infinite luck machine powered by “Lucktricity”. There is a boy accessing the multiverse through the never-ending reflections of 2 mirrors facing each other on “My First Multiverse” and an exploration into the intergalactic destiny of Carl Sagan’s famous Gold Record on “Tastes Like Space”.

[Sagan’s Gold Record plays a big part on this album, both inspiring the centerpiece song and CD design, as well as the incorporated electromagnetic sounds of Earth recorded by the Voyager spacecraft that bookend the beginning and end of Skidoo’s album. *See addendum for more on Carl Sagan’s Gold Record.]

Central to the themes and lyrics on this album is the idea of infinity, both the infinite reaches of space and the unlimited potential for intelligence and wonder inherent in everyone. In Skidoo’s world, we are all “Secret Superheroes” just about to find our powers. There are “Monsters” to battle, but even they are ultimately a positive force, causing us to stand up and realize our
potential. Throughout the album there’s hidden treasure to discover, strange interludes, secret messages, and the second layer of meaning coded into the album’s glow in the dark artwork.

Working with the cream of the crop in Asheville, NC’s legendarily eccentric music scene, 23 Skidoo wrapped funk guitar, bass, and drums together with a full brass section, harp,
vibraphone, organs, synths and strings, then added some super soulful hooks and fed it all through the minds of a master DJ, a world class beatboxer, and a couple of drum machines. The album was recorded and mixed in Echo Mountain Studio, Asheville’s musical heart.

Songs referencing James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic, Carl Sagan and the multiverse might seem unlikely on a family album but those familiar with 23 Skidoo know he is not a fan of low hanging fruit, and never dumbs down or sugars up the content. This album is more family music than kids music as it’s meant to be listened to with the whole crew. There are grooves and ideas mixed into the gumbo that will cause questions and conversations.This is hip hop, but mixed with funk, R&B, gypsy swing and New Orleans brass, and features 40 musicians playing a wide range of instruments from sousaphone to harp. This is rap, but tells stories about love, space travel, the multiverse and the unlimited potential of our hearts and minds. Fomenting wonder and curiosity, this album musically and lyrically fills the gas tank with rocket fuel, then salutes the young soul as it blasts off on its own voyages.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a 2015 Grammy nominee that has racked up eight #1 hits on Sirius/XM global satellite radio, and has received glowing reviews in TIME, USA Today, People, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered”. He tours internationally, and has rocked sets at New Delhi’s Buddy Daddy Family Bash, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, The Smithsonian and many more. He has released 5 studio albums, a live album, and 2 books, and has produced the music for the US Library System Summer Reading Program’s TV commercials for 5 years, as well as serving as its NY state official spokesman for 2 years. He travels constantly, rocks shows, teaches rhyme writing workshops, produces weird funkiness, smiles often, and generally has a good time.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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