RECAP: Quies Terry’s “ARTS & Crafts” Album Release Party
ARTS & Crafts, the latest project from Milwaukee’s own Quies Terry, dropped last week following a one-of-a-kind album release party. The album and the event stand as mirror images of each other, Quies as host and Quies as poet together reflecting a single picture of what he and his music stand for.
I was greeted at the door by the man himself. He was alight with excitement, and right away he handed me a ticket for a complementary glass of wine and a permanent marker, with which he instructed me to sign his jumpsuit. It was already covered in signatures, little doodles, and notes. He was only able to talk to me for a moment before he was off talking with someone else.
With wine in hand, I came across staples of both Milwaukee’s rock and rap scenes. Arts @ Large, a combination venue/cafe/community institution with high ceilings and brighter lighting than the usual concert venue, made for an atmosphere that was both classy and laid back with plenty of breathing room. Some people were circulating and chatting, or having food from one of the local vendors present. Others were seated in the main hall doing a guided painting session.
Just before the conversations—or the paint— could run dry, DJ Minute started a set that got everyone’s energy up. Thirty minutes later the first of the several local rappers set to perform took the stage—Jwoods1945. He brought a light-hearted, love-your-neighbor energy. Next was Ed Wingard, who had wise bars and a grounded presentation, performing several of his songs with his daughter in his arm. Then came melochild, smooth vocals abounded. He was followed by tae23, whose grittier, though still thoughtful, sound contrasted well to what preceded him. $hiro continued in this vein, and not to the detriment of wit in his lyrics. After him came 2Hi, his flows tight and his delivery hard. Closing out the openers was Unique Russ, who performed her spoken word poetry that had all present nodding their heads and pondering.
That all of the above artists are tight was clear to see, many of them featured on each other’s songs. The support and pride that they showed each other was infectious. And right there in the mix was Quies Terry, who would close out the night with a live performance of ARTS & Crafts.
His performance was full of life. Leading into each song with a short description of the sentiment behind it, the music and the man came to the audience as one. These descriptions were full or reference to those who helped in the creation of the project. From the artists mentioned above, to the producer behind much of the album, No B, to Quies’ mother herself, his appreciation for everyone who had contributed to his artistry was expressed in earnest.
2Hi, KILL GOOBER, and $hiro had features on the album that cemented the sense of community which backs this project as well as the artist whose mind and heart it came out of. DJ/producer policecreatehippies ran the sound for Quies’ set. The last feature on the project was a special one— it was KILL GOOBER’s feature, and it was his first ever live performance. Also known as WAK to the many who know his work as a filmmaker, he delivered his verse with confidence and soul that would make one think him a seasoned performer. WAK productions has been huge in bringing the personalities of this group of artists to the world through music videos, photos, and clips of them all clowning around.
The night ended with the same feeling it started with, only magnified by a sense of satisfied completion. The place cleared out with smiles all around, the album dropped an hour later.