Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    Music

    Print this page

    Dr. Dundiff was panicking just before his Saturday set started at Forecastle this year. Because of rain the previous night, Forecastle cut his set short by 15 minutes and some dark clouds might have caused some problems that day too. Not only did he have plans to play an awesome set by showcasing both his band Smoke Shop Kids and some of the finest rappers in town – including JaLin Roze, Touch AC, 1200 and Skyscraper Stereo – but he also had a surprise guest in My Morning Jacket front man Jim James to bring onstage for the finale.

    Dr. Dundiff, known offstage as Roman Aprile, was pretty low on Forecastle’s lineup, but he had a member of the headlining band show up during his set. That’s takes a lot of strings to pull – Dundiff walked us through that whole process.

    On presenting the idea to James and getting his approval: 

    “Before we got the Forecastle set, Jim said he would do it if our set was the same day as My Morning Jacket’s, then he never responded for two months… So, I had this idea and I wanted to do it… Fast forward to two weeks ago, Christian and I are juggling some ideas, I chopped up Jim’s song “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” layered it with the chorus and the verse and we took it into practice… We were getting closer to Forecastle and I was telling Christian [Smoke Shop Kids bandmate] that we shouldn’t do it. I didn’t think he was going to show up. It was going to be a cool tribute, but he wasn’t on board yet. This was about a week before Forecastle. It was really close to the end because that’s when we were learning the song. Six months before, before Forecastle had even happened, I had thought about doing the same thing with the song “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)” and did a rough version. He never e-mailed me back. I don’t even know if it was the right e-mail. I got it through Alex Smith [of Lydia Burrell and Howell Dawdy]. Two months before, I was just telling Jim that we are going to do something and it’s all through Alex... Literally the third time we practiced [State of the Art] that week I come to practice and on the way Jim e-mailed me and said Alex told him that we had a cool idea. I responded and told him everything. I sent a video of us playing the song in practice and he said that’s sick.”

    On his reaction to a shorter set:

    “I asked him if he could be there 30 minutes before the set and he said he would try, but if anything I could just cue him on stage. He called me, on the day of the set when we were trying to figure out what to cut, and said hey, you doing okay with the set cut? I was freaking out. Forecastle cut the set 15 minutes because of the storm. They said we might even have to evacuate. But it came out good. Every rapper was with a different song and a different amount of time. Jecorey [1200] actually came up to me before the set and said if I needed to cut his song that’s fine and I said we’re totally not going to cut your song.”

    On managing James coming onstage:

    “Fifteen minutes into the set, I look to the right of the stage and he’s standing there with his girlfriend. Toward the end of the set, I see him and I know it’s time. We had three minutes left in the set and I see Josh, the stage manager, and he says what’s going on? Then he see Jim and he basically says do what you need. We had three minutes left. We should have stopped, but we went four minutes over. A minute left in the finale, Josh came up to me and asked how much longer and he said, ‘Okay, great. This is great. This is all great.’”

    On a possible James/Dundiff future collaboration:

    “After the set, the best thing was when we were all still onstage and he gives me a hug and says I like what you are doing. You have my number now. Let’s work. Then last night [Saturday night], we went to go see 1200 play at Haymarket and my phones dies. We left at 3 a.m. and I turn my phone on after I plugged it in and 30 minutes earlier Jim had messaged me. He said, “Dude, thanks so much for having me. That set was amazing. What a great sense of community. Let’s make some more music.” After he just played a 2.5 hour set, he’s thinking of me. That’s crazy. It was cool.”

    On looking back at the set as a whole:

    “I just feel like no one saw that coming, but at the same time, if it didn’t happen it still would have been an amazing show. But, stuff like that, doing stuff that no one would see coming, because that stuff is basically impossible. Six months ago we were just trying to get on the Forecastle bill and we just brought out Jim James on our set. Like, 30 people onstage. I had to go through some much shit get those credentials.

    “I messaged Alex and Holly [Forecastle PR, First Mate] after and said thank you. Without you this could not have happened. I’ve been a grumpy old man for the past three months trying to schedule practices and not be a dick, but sometimes you have to be a dick. Not really to the band. They are with it as much as me because they know what they need to do. They have done it before. We’re all in this together. But with the rappers…sometimes you have to say shut up at practice and listen. It sucks but c’mon and spit now and get off the stage.

    “Now everybody knows what it took to get here and we did it. It wasn’t like we just got through it. We put on an excellent show. We went over the top. That is what people are going to remember from this weekend. That, and My Morning Jacket. I know people are going to remember it. I feel great right now. There’s no stress. It went graduation, to mixing EPs, to Forecastle and we have to bust ass. Now it’s done. I’m hyped.”

    On what his set meant to Louisville hip hop:

    “Hip hop has the worst reputation of any genre and to show people that there are all these rappers out here having fun was great. There’s a full band out here. We prepared for this. We did it. It was an amazing show. It was better than most of the bigger acts that you will see out here. For real, we brought it. I’ve heard it from people that I don’t even know. That’s how I know it’s not just friends saying shit. Everybody was together and even Jim James comes out. They say all over the news that he is the hometown hero. Everyone loves that band. For him to come out, someone in the crowd can say okay even if I wasn’t liking the rap, Jim James came out and if he is going to do this and he respects this, then I respect this. It just gives hip hop not only in Louisville, but anywhere… it’s a shit-on genre. It always has a bad reputation because of beef and oh some rapper got shot. No country singer got shot. No rock singer got shot. This community is so strong. For all that to happen and for 30 of my best friends and I to put on a crazy ass show… I think if they didn’t know who we were before now, they do now, and if they didn’t f*ck with hip hop before, they can f*ck with us. That’s 100 percent.”

    Photo courtesy of Live From The Internet. 

    Will Ford's picture

    About Will Ford

    Covering Louisville music like it's the 6 o' clock news. I've covered Forecastle, Louder Than Life, Moontower, Starry Nights, and Louisville music news for 3 years. Follow me @parasiticnoise

    More from author:    

    Share On:

    Upcoming Events

      Event Finder

      Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or RSS