Author: Mizell, Larry
Date published: January 21, 2010
HIPHOP YA DON'T STOP
BREATHLESS HIGHS, TRAGIC LOWS
So 2010 is already a source of breathless highs and unbelievably squalid, tragic lows. (The high was, for me, best covered by last week's Stranger cover.) Thoughts, prayers, and love to Haiti and to everybody who's got family there-please do anything you can, and I will, too. There are no words to equal loss and loss of life like this, and even the minutiae of regular life in its wake feel shallow. RIP to legend Teddy Pendergrass, ex-Blue Note and classic solo soul singer, the man who told you to "Close the Door" and who was fly enough to hold women-only concerts. RIP to Jay Reatard, the young garage/ punk-rock prince from Memphis, whose live show was one of the fiercest I've ever seen; his Blood Visions was one of my favorite albums of the last decade.
But let's get into it. Thursday, January 21, is the show "Squashed" at Neumos- a celebration officially ending any beef between the venerable Capitol Hill club and the men of Mad Rad. It was a year ago that a scuffle with security got them reviled and exiled from the venue and a host of area clubs. That was in fact the very same night I came to respect and recognize the chutzpah and spirit of these dudes, as they earlier that evening shook up the historic hiphop installment of Chase Jarvis's "Songs for Eating and Drinking" event, banging on the silverware and jumping on tables. Since then, their fortunes have flipped and, hate 'em or love 'em (and judging from the stupid look on your, no your, grill right now, I'd guess hate is your thing), they have undeniably helped energize the scene. So check them, Macklemore, PDX's awesome Breakfast Mountain, and DJ Darwin that night for FREE, damnit.
On Friday, January 22, it's time for the first Corner of the year. This edition features Tacoma's own hard-spitting, "O'Doyle rules!"-looking motherfucker Jay Barz (and when are we getting a new Barz tape/album?), decorated Seatown OG mic mangler/raw dancehall toaster Silver Shadow D, Alpha P's king hustler Suntonio Bandanaz, plus a battle/showcase with the Sinsemilla legend H-Bomb versus Diztortion (of Theoretics). It's going down at the Rendezvous, where you know the Pabst flows freely.
And a real quick rap PSA: You guys realize that local, ah, mainstream excitement over local hiphop music has never been higher, right? Instead of lazy writers asking, "Is local rap the new grunge?" you have actual local rock intelligentsia who saw it happen comparing the energy in the scene to that Northwest rock explosion of the '90s. You can front, downplay it, or whatever- oh hi, Seattle Weekly-but if you're a local artist, this is a good, no a great, thing, one you can capitalize on if you're on your toes; I'm surprised some of y'all need someone to tell you this. The stage is set and the bar is raised, so go appropriately hard-no half-stepping on your show, your record, your publicity, none of that. No more shittily mixed CD-Rs, no more 14-act bills, no more whining, no more self-delusion, no more excuses! Please?
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