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'Big Lo' celebrates big album release with Vinyl show

12:33 PM, Jan. 11, 2013

Top Ten

Johnathan Jones

Business Management major, Faulkner State College
1. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” The Beatles.
2. “Nightmare,” Avenged Sevenfold.
3. “Recovery,” Eminem.
4. “Appetite For Destruction,” Guns N’ Roses.
5. “The Black Album,” Jay Z.
6. “Imagine,” John Lennon.
7. “The Path of Totality,” Korn.
8. “Rebirth,” Lil Wayne.
9. “Hybrid Theory,” Linkin Park.
10. “Metallica,” Metallica.
Share your all-time Top 10 favorite albums with the world. Email your list to pnjmusic@yahoo.com.

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The best way to describe James “Big Lo” Lopez’s latest album is to hear Lopez describe it himself.

“Say Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino and John Woo all sat down at a pub, had a few drinks and said, ‘You know what? We’re going to make a hardcore American hip-hop album.’ Bam! That’s what it is.”

The album — a journey into the mind, movies and music of Lopez — is one of the most anticipated hip-hop events of the year, and the local artist headlines the “Magnum Opiates” album release party tonight at Vinyl Music Hall, 2 Palafox Place.

Tonight’s concert also provides the opportunity to experience Lopez’s art as he envisioned it.

“Music has to be performed live and if you can’t rock live, you shouldn’t even be making music,” he said.

Pushing poetry and imagination to extremes, every Big Lo show is an exercise in intensity. “It’s a real hip-hop show,” he said. “It’s just me and a DJ. There are no gimmicks.”

Lopez’s love of hip-hop began in 1989 with the release of Kool Moe Dee’s “Knowledge is King.” Soon, he started songwriting and found a passion for the stage while performing the Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre classic “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” at a fifth-grade talent show.

While attending Tallahassee Community College, Lopez immersed himself in the music scene until he decided to attend the University of West Florida, and fate intervened.

“Ivan happened,” Lopez said of the 2004 hurricane that ravaged the Gulf Coast. “All of my possessions were destroyed, and I moved back to Tallahassee.”

Undeterred, Lopez continued working on his music, recording and even gaining the attention of DJ Epps of G-Unit/Shadyville before returning to UWF and earning his master’s degree in May.

Tonight’s concert is also a gift from Lopez.

“It’s just a big celebration and thank you to Pensacola,” he said. “We have real friends and fans that come out and support us and that’s what we do it for.”

Tickets are $10 for this all-ages show, and everyone in attendance will receive a copy of the album. Unnatural Soundz, Scum of the Earth and others will perform. The show starts at 7 p.m. For details, visit www.vinylmusichall.com.

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Galactic At Vinyl

You may remember ’80s rock group Living Colour for its Grammy Award-winning single “Cult of Personality,” but the New York pioneers of funk-metal have numerous songs that are just as powerful — look up the band’s performance of “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” at the Apollo Theater — thanks to its socially conscious metal that was held together by the vocal power of Corey Glover.

On Tuesday, Glover and New Orleans funk/jazz supergroup Galactic will join forces in an otherworldly concert at Vinyl Music Hall. Tickets are $25 for this all-ages show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit www.vinylmusichall.com.

Blue Mondays at Seville

This weekend, enjoy the blues as the Blues Society of Northwest Florida celebrates the return of “Blue Mondays” at Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.

Jeff Glickman, Blues Injectors and Jamie Eubanks Band will perform today, while Dizzy Jukes and Reddog and Friends will play Saturday.

Blue Mondays will showcase renowned blues artists. This Monday’s event will feature Nick & the Ovorols, while the weekly Blues Open Jam begins at 8 p.m. every Monday. For more event times and details, visit www.sevillequarter.com.

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