First off was Busdriver. I’ve talked about him before on my website, and seen him several times at Neumos. I went with Three Ninjas, Tangentbot, and HeartFeltRobots. Before the show Three Ninjas chatted a bit with Busdriver on account of having done a remix of an Open Mike Eagle & Busdriver song. My pal HeartFeltRobots even made Busdriver his very own felt Busdriver Bot!
Busdriver started his set with a very cool visual effect: all the lights were off, but he had a blacklight that also emitted lasers in such a way that they made a starfield on the background. Then he stood in front of the blacklight and starfield wearing all white. He made Tangentbot very happy by rapping over an Aphex Twin song for his encore.
Two of the opening acts were women hip-hop artists, Night Fox and Katie Kate. They were both very good, though I kinda liked Night Fox’s energy a little more. They were unlike many women hip-hop artists that I’m used to, in that they weren’t full of “even tougher than a man” bravado (even though there was a fair share of cussing). Night Fox’s voice periodically had an almost-Billie-Holliday warble in it, and at times sounded like an American Miho Hatori. Plus she was tiny and kinda adorable. Katie Kate was a much more polished performer and technical musician — I learned later that she’s a classically-trained pianist and graduated from Cornish with a music degree! Anyway, the point is they had a really fascinating style of hip-hop. I almost want to call it “Cutesy Hip-Hop” but that sound a little degrading. The point is, it was fun and inviting instead of angry and aggressive.
You can watch a Katie Kate music video here!
As for the Chop Suey show the next week, Threeni & T-Bo (as they will now be referred to in the rest of this post because it sounds awful) were the opening act for the Fake Four tour, which is the same tour that Open Mike Eagle opened for last year. Good company! And Carrie actually got to come with me because for once she didn’t have to teach on a night where there was an awesome music show!
They completely killed their set. The highlight of the whole night was when Threeni and T-Bo performed an absolutely epic cover of Jewel’s “Foolish Games.” For realsz! Ch-ch-check it out!
Like what you heard there? About to commit seppuku because you missed it? Stay your blade, I say! For Three Ninjas & Tangentbot will be performing a Mardi Gras party at the Skylark Café on Tuesday the 8th! THAT’S TOMORROW, HOMESLICE!
Carrie & I didn’t stay for the whole show because:
- We live in Tacoma
- I had to be at work at 8:00 the next morning
- We’re old
But another excellent act that we got to see was Abadawn, a rapper with an extremely young countenance (he looked like he was 15) and a fascinating style. He had two vocalizations: a hip-hop voice that had inflections and flow that reminded me somewhat of Eminem, and a full-on death-metal screech/growl voice. He switched freely between them. Also, his songs were short, which I really appreciated (a couple were only like 45 seconds long, I swear). They were like a little nugget burst of energy, like a hip-hop haiku of rage.
So: February = good month for hip-hop shows.