KARL DENSON's Tiny Universe - Tribute to Beastie Boys


                            KDTU- featuring members of Slightly Stoopid 

                                      Performing the music of Beastie Boys, In Memory of Adam Yauch (MCA)
                                                           Live from Boulder & Denver CO. June 2012

                  Brief Q & A with Karl Denson- conducted by B.Getz  at Tipitina's Uptown during NOLA Jazzfest 2012
                  Photography courtesy of Jon Prins/Transcedental Photography; exclusively for The UPFUL Life &Times

                                                    Video footage below the photo album & interview

A Quick Q&A with the man they call Deisel- Karl Denson on the Beasties tribute shows

B. Getz was lucky enough to get a moment with Karl Denson at Jazzfest in New Orleans and another a few weeks later in Atlantic City. The first encounter was  after his long late-night affair at Tipitina’s Uptown. KDTU had done an abbreviated version of the Beastie Boys tribute; only O.G. of Slightly Stoopid made the trip. Adam Yauch (MCA) of the Beastie Boys had succumbed to cancer and passed away a day earlier, sorrowful news that rocked the Jazzfest ragers to their core. This palpable emotion was not lost on Denson.

B.Getz- I know KDTU has performed this Beasties tribute last month in Cali, but whoa, man, with MCA leaving us yesterday, the timing of these performances is crazy. And to happen while we are at Jazzfest. Just a really heavy experience. Yauch was close to my heart. It means alot to me, to LEGOINS of us that came of age with the Beasties, that you and the Tiny Universe, and Slightly Stoopid, put this celebration together.

Karl Denson: Thanks. Yea. ( deep breath) I’ll tell you Getz, I was totally shocked, IN SHOCK, when I heard the news. Right away I thought about how we had this thing planned and just last month (at the Belly Up in San Diego), we threw down a show that was just a tribute to many different “genres” of the Beasties. But we only had O.G. with us here at Fest, so we kind of did an smaller, more humble version of the show. Well, "Sabotage" wasn't humble! (laughs)

B.G. – Yea, that was wildin'; Tips was goin nuts. I thought the throwback, rare groove versions of “Root Down” and “Sure Shot” were perfect ways to show reverence. MCA’s voice was his instrument, and with that taken away… I dunno Karl, the silence was deafening. You could really feel the void, the absence, of that gruff, rugged MCA rapping style. So I found the more tailored version appropriate given the fact we are still mourning. NOT hearing his verses, man that hit home. It was deep... But the flute break in "Sure Shot"?!?! Thats! what I'm talkin about my man. Bangin.

Karl Denson: (laughs and a firm hand shake) Yea man, I always loved the Beastie Boys, and for the longest time have been diggin’ on all aspects of their many styles, and how they incorporate so much music into their own music, from the old sample based stuff, to the organic, jazz organ funky stuff, and the later stuff where they made their own beats with instruments, sampling and tweaking and twisting themselves. They are such and important band, group, and its bigger than Hip Hop.  We wanted to  bring that huge amount of creativity, and that real cool Beastie Boys style, and also pay tribute by making some grooves and things our own, or calling back to the original grooves like Jimmy Smith’s “Root Down”. This was well before MCA passed away, obviously. His dying, only serves to add another level, emotional element, to the performances. We’ll be working bits and pieces, and grooves from the Beasties into our stuff for a while; its really fun. Their music is just … crazy and fun!

But when we bring the whole show, for the dates coming up (San Francisco, Boulder, Denver), and Stoopid gets on… MAN! When we bring Stoopid. I’m tellin’ ya. Whole ‘nother story.  That’s when the power of the entire tribute, or homage, is in full effect. The Stoopid guys are great, and they love & cherish the Beasties, I mean, they are like Beasties themselves in a lot of ways (laughs). I’ve been doing a lot of touring in their band and I knew they were the guys to call upon for this project.

B.G.: I saw you pick up the guitar for “Sabotage”…

Karl Denson: That’s my new hobby. I’m startin’ with the punk rock heavy stuff!


B.Getz for The UPFUL Life & Times

5/3/2012 and 6/16/2012

KDTU w/Slightly Stoopid - Beasties Tribute- Videos from Denver Westword Showcase