The Flying Spiders, a hip-hop orchestra, are pretty fly; failure to groove is not an option. Watching them perform can cause a spontaneous rising of the arms and an, all together now, “Oh yeah.” Made up of 12 or so members of different shades of skin, different shades of beliefs, and different musical backgrounds, the group’s commonality is rooted in social change.
The Flying Spiders, 21st century hippies, exist simply to spread the love. “It’s about love and making the world a better place,” said frontman Isamu Jordan, adding that if he didn’t create, he’d curl up into a ball and disappear. His band members feel the same way and their passion is evident as they sway and groove while performing. Smiles rarely leave their faces and it is contagious.
Jordan’s “instruments” are a pen and pad, mad rhymes that touch upon everything from alienation to faddism, politics to faux pas, and community apathy to the poetic urgings for social change. The Flying Spiders’ sound is a melting pot of hip-hop, blues, folk, rock, funk, jazz, and classical and includes keys, a violin, percussion, a cello, a bass and guitar, a saxophone, flute, clarinet, improvisational rappers and a beatboxer.
Flying and spiders are two of Jordan’s biggest fears and the group’s name could be considered a metaphor for society’s general fear of speaking up, or the fear of Mark Twain’s notion of singing like no one’s listening, loving like you’ve never been hurt, dancing like nobody’s watching, and living like it’s heaven on earth. Watching the Flying Spiders perform, you cannot help but realize that they have left their fears elsewhere as they expose their inner worlds to a pumped up audience.
“My beatboxing comes from deep within me. It’s my second language,” said Michael “MJ the Inhuman Beatboxer” Janson. “I am able to communicate with other instruments and their players on a much higher level than human speech. When I beatbox it’s as if the world has speakers set up everywhere. My tune is broadcast for all to hear.”
In less than two years together, the group have released one collection, “The Doppelganger EP: Villaging Trilogy Pt. I” and are gearing up for the release of the second in the Villaging Trilogy series “The Spokane’s Finest EP” next Saturday at the Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St. The event will include “Spokane’s Finest Fashion Show” presented by Runway Ready featuring styles by local designers and will be hosted by KXLY personality Jackie Brown. The evening will also serve as a benefit for The Village Experience, a local nonprofit agency with the mission of providing musical instruments, instruction and studio recording access to low-income youths.
The show on Saturday will also include other performers; more individuals who “spread the love.” Like one big family, the Flying Spiders are a dozen that become sometimes less and sometimes more depending on previous engagements or people dropping by unexpectedly. Family is love and, to Flying Spiders, so is music.