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Glasgow takes Half Zodiac beyond hip-hop

Local emcee sensation Jaeda Glasgow has joined a band.

And Half Zodiac is a lot more than hip-hop music.

A quintet that specializes in meshing the organic with electronic, Half Zodiac explores blues, rock, experimental, psychedelic garage R&B and beyond.

 “I don’t really know which genre to claim,” Glasgow said. “It has opened up the sky for me, musically. I never really considered myself a singer but more of a lyricist or a rapper. The band really opened me up to discovering my singing voice. Someone described it as Karen O meets Lil’ Kim. I tend to go more bluesy or jazzy but when the tempo kicks up it’s almost like a female Zack de la Rocha.”

Along with Glasgow, Half Zodiac sports an all-star roster – drummer Travis Hurley (The Longnecks, La Cha Cha), bassist Eric Shears (House of Ghosts, The Longnecks), digital sound sculptor and keyboardist Jess Ponikvar (Wax808), and violinist Drew Shafer.

“It’s not confined to hip-hop but it’s really hip-hop oriented. … It’s the vehicle that carries that fast poetry,” Ponikvar said. “If Jaeda can get her message out, that resonates with people, and once you back that up with a live band it’s successful for everyone – the people that don’t normally come to a hip-hop show see elements they are not used to and vice versa. … We’d like to play big shows and really entertain people, and we have the perfect front person for it. Jaeda is great at talking to people.”

Return in time to Flee The Century

The description on their Facebook page sums it up: “Flee The Century is still a band. One lives in Philadelphia, one in Spokane and one more in Portland.” 

Keyboardist Justin Hynes assumed the music would stop when two-thirds of the band moved away, but enigmatic frontman Erik Viking is returning home to get married, and drummer Jordan Hoff, too, is making the trek to rally a rare FTC sighting.

“I thought all of us living in different parts of the country was the end. Apparently that’s not the case,” Hynes said.

The once-Spokane music fixture took an extended hiatus, but now the members have resolved to bring their brand of driving hardwave back to the stage whenever they are in the same city at the same time, Hynes said.

“Last year we did the same thing. We always have the ambition of writing a new song and play it at the show,” Hynes said. “We’ll give it a shot, but no guarantees.”

Hynes said they also might play some songs from the days of Right Turn Danger, the band he played in with Viking before FTC.

Flee The Century appears with Richard Dryfish and Normal Babies at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Mootsy’s, 406 W. Sprague Ave. Cover is $5.