Chorus and Verse
James Dalton
Chorus and Verse Blog
Posted: June 15, 2010 03:16 pm (-05:00)
James Dalton
People Of LA, King Famous Hits The Fringe!

One of my favorite performers is a dude named King Famous. He's a little bit this, a little bit that. He's worked in theatre, film, music, comedy, graphic and web design, and I've even read through some of his comic books. I am happy to call him friend and we've collaborated on a number of things together.

Some of my readers may recognize his hand in my recent promotional poster for the Silent Station Tour over in Europe last month, or some of you may have caught the Adaptables playing some of his music up in Sommerville, Mass. Maybe you've watched the man on stage. That's my favorite.

So when I heard that he was taking whatever it is he'll be doing to the LA Fringe this year, I got excited. When you take King and mix it up with a large performing arts festival where expectations are supposed to be blown out of the water, well, that is just what you're going to get. I decided to give him a shout and he told me what was up...

Me: King Famous, when first we ran into each other, it was New Brunswick some years back, I was hosting the open mic at Tumulty's Pub and, I have to admit, you were poised to take over the town. Some of those early performances at Tumulty's and even at Cafe 52 (may that wonderful place rest in peace) were so original and unforgettable that I can still recall them perfectly. At times it was underground hip hop with beats, at other times at was folk punk with a barely tuned guitar. Where do you think that all was coming from?

King: Mike Toth was a serious rock and roll recording artist and he happened to work in my Dad's print shop. When I asked him about open mics or where I could perform in New Brunswick, he took me to Cafe 52 and introduced me to you. I'm not sure where anything comes from, or why we do certain things, but my music growing up was all rap and then hip hop. Not gangster rap, but more like Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School - De La Soul. If I wasn't listening to that, I was all about Blues Traveler, Phish and Widespread Panic.

I love playing the drums and rapping. That's really my favorite things to do. I feel at home there and every time I get to write a rhyme or play the kit I find something new in it.

I started playing the guitar because a lot of places said "no rap." For me, I always loved the live show.

When you have a situation like a live stage, or an open mic, that is when you will see what is really on the minds of the blue collar musicians, the people that still work regular jobs and can sing at the end of the day. These are the songs that have meaning. And, sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's out of tune, and sometimes it makes perfect sense.

Let's face it, man, a lot of coffee houses and bars want an open mic to bring new people in and to provide nice music and atmosphere. But, to me, an open stage is an open stage and real expression is just how it has to be, whether it's beating up a computer, jumping out of trees, or playing some folk songs about what's going on.

In my childhood I was lucky to have loving parents that were both teachers of the arts. So, I guess that is where it really all comes from. And, recently, with the new shows I'm working on for the Hollywood Fringe, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, or how many hours a day you got to work at a job so you can support yourself doing another show. I can take anyone and put them in a studio and have them sing into a $50,000 mic and I can pitch shift their voice and bring in a marketing team with a big budget to plaster your face all over the world. But real performers perform anywhere at anytime they want to. It's not about "making it" or "getting noticed" or "getting signed."

It's all about the show, the show, the show.

(Interview ends.)

No doubt, King, it is all about the show. He's got two performances, both different but equally enigmatic. If I know King Famous like I think I do, and if the people are really ready for it, I'm betting that King Famous will be the hit of the LA Fringe this year. So go check him out! Show info below.

Also, I decided to included a clip of one of the characters you may encounter during one of the shows.

Thanks for reading! As always, email at Please rate and comment, etc.

King Famous | Space | June 17
King Famous  | Time | June 24, 2010
James Dalton
James Dalton is a New Jersey-based singer/songwriter/performer that has had his ups and downs but still pushes forward and stuff.
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