It has taken me a few days to recover from the beating I took this past weekend at the Capitol Hill Block Party. Not a literal beating but it felt like my liver got jumped in a dark alley by King Hippo, Bald Bull, and Soda Popinski and my kidneys were in a gang fight with these clowns. Aside from that it was a great weekend for music of all genres and an even better showing for Seattle hip-hop.
The weekend started a little later on Friday than I would have liked as I totally missed Macklemore and just caught the end of Shabazz Palaces on the Main Stage. My need for sleep, unfortunately, over came my desire to get my ass to the party. We did, however, make it in early to the Champagne Champagne set at Neumos. Champagne has really grown on me over the past couple times seeing them perform and put on a great show.
Next up on the docket was the "Fantastic Four" hip-hop show, comprised of J.Pinder, Stay Hi Brothers, Candidt, and The Physics. J.Pinder was up first and rocked a nice set. This dude has so much potential and has really only begun. Word on the street is that he will be moving to Atlanta shortly to "further his music career". Good luck homey. Next up was Stay Hi Brothers (Vitamin D and Maineak) and brought about as much as you can expect...dope beats and good laid back, old school vibe. Check the video below as they performed their track Home from Jake One's "White Van Music".
Candidt, for me, was the wild card of the group. Yeah, yeah, I'm sleepin, I'm late whatever y'all wanna call it...I just wasn't that familiar with his music. Dude is hella funny on The Proof though, and I was interested to see/listen. I was definitely not disappointed. Candidt was energetic, his delivery was on point, and he had some "choreographed" segments in his show which totally kept my attention. Keep a lookout for Candidt's album "Sweatsuit & Churchshoes" droppin August 17th. I'll definitely check this one out. The Physics deliver in all forms. They rocked to a live band and turned out the final performance of the "Fantastic Four".
Saturday started off a bit more laid back at we hit HG Lodge (formerly The War Room) for the Members Only 1 year anniversary party. Man, I have to say that there isn't a whole lot better than sittin in the Seattle sun, eating free barbecue, sippin a cold $1 Pabst, and groovin to some of Seattle's best hip-hop artists. Canary Sing, Katie Kate, Victor Shade aka Ra Scion, Grynch, Luck One, Spaceman, and Cloud Nice (Jarv Dee, Helladope) all rocked the rooftop before we left to get back to the Block Party. I got a little snippet of Helladope (not sure what happened to the sound...eff technology) to give you an idea of the atmosphere up there. BIG shout out to Members Only...good stuff.
We bailed out on the remainder of the Members Only party to book it over to the Vera Stage for the "Hip-Hop Showcase featuring State of the Artist, Spaceman, and Grynch". Now I'll be the first to admit that I am not a big SOTA fan. Extrahelladope is a good track but, for me, that is really the beginning and the end. I will say though, that they did put on a good show...but when you're followed by Spaceman you need to step your game up.
this video if you wanna see what I'm talking about.
Grynch is "Mr. Consistency" to me. When you see Grynch perform, much like Spaceman, you know what you're going to get every time...a good show. Less energetic than Space, Grynch commands an audience with his delivery and content rather than his presence and "swag" (I have grown to hate that word). As I looked around the buildings, I noticed that by the end Space and Grynch had people out on their patios, windows, and rooftops...around the VERA stage. Pretty impressive.
Atmosphere closed out the night on the Main Stage...admittedly I was too tired from the day to fight my way through the endless waves of people to get anywhere close to the stage. So we decided to stay back in the beer garden, sip cold ones, and enjoy not being impacted like an 80 year old colon and thus avoiding the stench of ass crack and elbow sweat. It was all good!
Continue after the break for day 3...
You know how, no matter what you do, when one thing goes wrong...shit just slides down hill. As I walked out the door to head up to see Mad Rad and Blue Scholars, with plenty of time to spare, wouldn't you know that I locked my car keys INSIDE my house...FML. Needless to say, I missed Mad Rad...again. Geezus, what does a guy have to do! I have seen Blue Scholars on numerous occassions, so missing one didn't hurt...or did it? Judging from the footage I have seen...it does sting a little. So once my lady finally arrived we decided to get dinner, another couple cold ones (Crown this time), and get a good seat for the Truckasaurus, Victor Shade, and Fresh Espresso shows to cap off the 2010 Block Party.
I'm not sure where to even begin to describe the ensemble that is Truckasaurus. Here is what their Myspace has to say:
Armed with an arsenal of vintage Roland drum machines and synths, all sequenced by a modded first-gen Gameboy, Truckasauras create analog electro loops that skitter over starkly minimal drums; a sound (is it techno? is it hip-hop?) that straddles the chasm between goofiness and sincerity, and does so with aplomb. Citing influences ranging from Aphex Twin to 2 Live Crew, it’s next to impossible to pigeonhole the group into any one genre.I tend to call it...awesome. They truely are entertaining with their trucker hats, vests, and American flags. One of the guys had a gold Nintendo Legend of Zelda cartridge strapped around his neck with a gold chain. How could that NOT be awesome. One of the other guys runs a VHS recorder that projects the most random videos on to two large screens and generally in sync with the music. Looking around the crowd , staring at the screens made me feel like there was a little of this going on! Peep the video below...
Victor Shade aka Ra Scion was up next on the Neumos Stage. If you don't know, Victor Shade is the super hero alter ego of Ra Scion. After the "fall" of Common Market, Ra teamed up with MTK for the Victor Shade album and it really is genius. Victor Shade tears through beats that were seemingly made for him. I like Blue Scholars and Common Market, but I always felt a little like Ra wasn't getting some of Sabzi's best beats. Don't get me wrong...Every Last One Of Us, Escaping Arkham, Tobacco Road are great but I think MTK's beats are more suited to Victor Shade's "in your face" delivery. Shoot, if MTK is gonna get half butt naked on stage, you know it has to be good. Watch...
and a new joint from Victor Shade 2...coming soon.
Now if that ain't superhero shit, I don't know what is! I also want to add in here that DJ DEV*FROM*ABOVE played a couple of dope DJ sets as well. Anytime you can work some Phil Collins/Genesis into a hip-hop show...you're alright by me.
Closing out the night, and the Capitol Hill Block Party weekend was Fresh Espresso on the Neumos stage. PSmoov and Rik Rude have that...je ne said quoi, but whatever it is, the crowd loves it. Every Fresh Espresso show I have been to was live...where else can you see a dancing panda furry on stage? They performed damn near every track from their debut album "Glamour" and some new shit as well. PSmoov prefaces one of the new tracks, Hush, with "It's probably the best song ever made". The song is dope, but best song ever made...? Haha. The intro lulls you into a state of calm before the storm then, in typical Smoovy fashion, the beat walks around the corner and smashes you in the face. Check it out...
Another shoulder bump from Spaceman and we were out the door in a Crown Royal fueled haze. I mean really, is there any other way to be on a Sunday night? Shout out to the Dave Meinert and his people at Fuzed Music for putting on another great block party. There are a lot more videos from this years block party on my YouTube page so check it out as well. Peace everyone, I'm off to Promises.