Triple play for The Grouch & Eligh
Music • The Grouch & Eligh join venerable company with release.
Published: February 28, 2014 12:09PM
Updated: March 2, 2014 05:27PM
image
Courtesy photo The Grouch & Eligh perform Saturday, March 1, at at the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City.

Bob Dylan has done it. Bruce Springsteen has done it. The Rolling Stones have done it. The Beatles have done it.

These artists have all released double albums: “Blonde on Blonde,” “The River,” “Exile on Main St., and the release known as “The White Album,” respectively.

Fewer and far between are musicians who have released triple albums of all-new material. George Harrison was the pioneer with his post-Beatles triple album, “All Things Must Pass.” More often, triple-album releases are compilations, oftentimes live, of previously released material, such as The Band’s “The Last Waltz,” Stevie Wonder’s “Looking Back” and Led Zeppelin’s “How the West Was Won.”

The Grouch & Eligh just joined the triple-album club. The two members of the influential collective Living Legends released “The Tortoise and the Crow” on Tuesday. It includes a joint effort from the two (“333”), a solo album from The Grouch (“Lighthouses”) and a solo album from Eligh (“Nomads”).

The Los Angeles-based DIY hip-hop trailblazers each have solo careers of ill repute (with “ill” used in the best sense possible), but when the two come together, something magical happens, and that will be on display March 1 at Urban Lounge.

“We’re brothers,” said Eligh. “We’ve been on similar paths in life since we’ve known each other, and it is effortless to create together. The studio is the one zone Grouch and I agree on everything 99 percent of the time.”

The Grouch agreed, but he expressed his thoughts in his amiably distinctive way: “We’ve known each other for many lifetimes,” he said. “This story started over 2,000 years ago.”

The release came about — in part — to set themselves apart from what U2 called the “Overground.”

“We wanted to do something that hasn’t been done, and once we decide that’s what we’re doing, there’s no stopping us,” Eligh said. “Prolific? I’d say highly driven.”

“I have to release what’s inside of me to the world,” said The Grouch. “That’s just the way it is for me. Some people choose dance, photography, comedy. I choose independent hip-hop. A triple album the way we did it has never been done before. I like that. In a world where everyone is now doing everything, it’s good to find something that’s simple and unique and go for it.”

The ambitious duo are no strangers to the stage in Utah. Eligh said he is not the least bit surprised there is such a fervor for underground hip-hop in Utah. One of his first solo shows was in Utah, “where it was just me, and the love I was shown was overwhelming.”

As for The Grouch, who co-founded Living Legends, his memories in Utah are more tied to being in a place much different from his new home in Maui, after moving there from Los Angeles. He recalls “my daughter Rio playing in the snow in Park City on a tour run a few years back. She was 3 or 4 and it was all about making snow angels back then.”

Even though Maui doesn’t much sound like the underground, there is a literalness to where The Grouch comes up with his music.

“In the basement, of course,” he said.

Eligh & The Grouch with Pigeon John

When • Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where • Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $18 in advance, $20 day of, at 24Tix.com

About Pigeon John • Says Eligh: “I’ve personally known John since I was 16 or 17. We came up in the same L.A. underground scene. He’s a longtime friend and collaborator. And Grouch and I love his stage presence.”

Added The Grouch: “Pigeon John is a dope rap artist and a friend of ours from L.A. He’s been featured on a number of songs with us over the years, most notably on ‘All In’ and a new one, ‘Run.’ He’s an extended family member, someone whose sound goes good with ours and we love him. Need I say more?”