Smile Politely

Indie Rock Meets Hip-Hop Tonight at The Canopy Club

A show like this, on the surface, sounds like something of a novelty: hip-hop and indie rock? Together? This is the stuff that gets pulled off on major festival circuits, but how will it fare in the C-U community? Perhaps that’s putting naïve words into the mouths of our hyper-educated viewers, but it’s a question worth asking despite the fact that this type of show has gone on for quite some time around town. Krukid shows up here, Larry Gates shows up there; at The Great Cover-Up, rock bands cover hip-hop acts for a full set, from Absinthe Blind performing as the Beastie Boys on through Beat Kitchen’s rendition of Run-DMC. Point in case, though this might be the first to call attention to the relationship between hip-hop and indie rock by name, the C-U music community is no stranger to cross-genre shows.

Also of note is that the pairing of these genres, increasingly related in terms of PR if nothing else, makes a whole lot of sense: In both cases, grassroots promotion plays a giant role in getting the word spread about the quality of musical acts, from venues such as MySpace to the traditional word-of-mouth. To boot, independent acts of both the rock and hip-hop varieties (not to mention most other genres) are the ones who consistently expand upon respective boundaries, the proverbial meal tickets for the future of music.

Because there are eight acts on the bill, and because I’ve already used so much space explaining why this is such a damn good idea, I’ll limit discussion of the performers via the 20-word exercise (I’ll cheat via equations):

The indie rock:

Dark Meat: Athens, GA, Seventeen-piece collective = (Zappa + Flaming Lips) / Hippie Commune. Many band members end up on the floor.

Elsinore: Some of C-U’s hardest working lads who’ve honed their talents. Earnest rock ‘n’ roll recalls both Radiohead and Wilco.

Tall Tale: Female-fronted piano-pop channels off-kilter fundamentals; probably get unfairly compared to Tegan & Sara. Record out in May.

World’s First Flying Machine: Neutral Milk Hotel filtered through Death Cab. In other words, refreshingly giddy and obtuse.

The hip-hop:

Krukid & the Sugargliders: Ugandan native, C-U resident, Rawkus cohort emcee melds hard beats with self-, soul-, and socially-conscious lyrics.

Agent Mos: a.k.a. AMS, a.k.a., Edward Moses, dubbed “king of nerds”; obviously digs Rhymesayers, Def Jux, jazz.

Curb Service: Former Lorenzo Goetz frontman Larry Gates drops beats, sings; the unique fusion of hip-hop, down tempo, and rock is no surprise.

Yea Big+Kid Static: Chicago’s funkadelic crew fuses chaotic samples with brash vocals for an experience that recalls Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Though this write-up likely does the show little justice, know that it’ll cost you only $7 if you show up before 8 p.m. (at 708 S. Goodwin Ave.), and only $8 if you show up afterwards, and you must be 18 to enter. Get there early and don’t regret it. We’re already excited for the forthcoming volumes of this exciting showcase.

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