“Groovy groovy jazzy funky pounce bounce dance,” the opening lines of early 90’s British jazz-rap group, US3, might help pin-point the sound of one of Milwaukee’s most diverse musical treasures, Foreign Goods. Categorizing their sound is a delightful challenge for your ear. With heavy ties to the experimental jazz scene, a world-music vibe that links the band to everything from Ethiopian music to Caribbean grooves to north Indian soundscapes, and with poetic vocals delivered by MC Klassik, Foreign Goods is a hard band to plug into a genre. Perhaps that’s why on their Facebook page, Foreign Goods list their genre as No Genre, at all.
Foreign Goods’ music transcends styles, age groups, and barriers. For 88.9 Radio Milwaukee listeners, Foreign Goods may be the sound-child on DJ Tarik Moody’s “Rhythm Lab Radio” show as well as on DJ Marcus Doucette’s “Sound Travels” program. It’s eclectically infectious to put it lightly.
Along with their good friends New Age Narcissism, Foreign Goods might be the most ambitiously eclectic group to grace the Pedal Power Stage at Rock the Green. We recently had a chance to connect with band leader, Jay Anderson (who plays saxophone) and hear some of his thoughts on playing the sustainability festival in a couple of weeks.
Rock the Green: How would you describe your sound?
Jay Anderson (Foreign Goods): Foreign Goods plays Black American Music, and we pride ourselves on linking our music to that of the African Diaspora.
Rock the Green: What have been some of your favorite concert memories playing in and around Milwaukee?
Anderson: Our first show at Bremen Café was awesome. We were about ten times overcapacity and everyone loved the music and danced and enjoyed themselves. This was by far one of my best memories.
Rock the Green: What should fans expect when they see you at Rock the Green?
Anderson: They should expect to dance and be surprised at every turn.
Rock the Green: Are there other artists on the RTG line-up you're especially excited to see or collaborate with?
Anderson: We love the guys in New Age Narcissism, and I’m excited to collaborate with Siren (one of their female singers) later that day!
Rock the Green: What do you think is the importance/impact of a festival like RTG in creating a greater sense of unity and community in Milwaukee?
Anderson: It’s important to have various different acts in order to put their separate fan bases in the same space. We want to create an environment at the festival of growing and loving and learning from one another.
Rock the Green:. As you know, the focus of Rock the Green is sustainability. Why is sustainability important to you as an artist?
Anderson: Sustainability is important to me as an artist because I was an organic farmer until I was able to sustain myself just on music. I feel a deep connection to the earth and my surroundings.
Rock the Green: Do you have any advice to concert attendees or folks reading this blog about simple ways people can be more mindful about sustainability?
Anderson: I’d encourage others to think about your lives more mindfully. Every time you use something, think about who made it, where did it come from? Where is it going after me?
Be sure to check out the groove from Foreign Goods on the Pedal Power Stage at 5:15pm.