Just in case this Pure Dork Week was making everyone think I was a dork or something, this post should put that to rest. I figured that I would give a little recap of a few of the concerts I have caught recently in NYC, and update some of the shows jumping off in Philly in the next few weeks. I mean, it's not like dorks read Pitchfork and Fader and go to hyped-up shows, right?
-We Got It For Cheap? Not really, as it cost $15 to see the Clipse show at the Knitting Factory this past weekend. But, in the end, it was worth it to hear the most devastating duo in hip hop drop some of their classics and put on one of the best hip hop shows I have ever seen. I have not been as big a fan of The Clipse as other writers have been, although I did have them in the Mixtape of the Year posts. I love them, but have gravitated lately to Jeezy and Juelz, who seem to have fallen out of favor with the bloggerati.
The show was wall-to-wall, literally. MC and I walked in at 11:45 or so, and were met with a mass of people. We were forced to stand in front of the door because there was nowhere else to go; literally, we couldn't move forward. The sound was good enough that the bad sight lines weren't that awful, as each song and instrumental came through loud and clear from our spot in front of the exit. Eventually, people made room and we got a sight line and were able to see just how amazing Pusha and Malice are as performers.
How many rap shows have you been to where the show starts late, the performers half-ass it, posses take up most of the stage and ruin songs? Not this time, although the Re-Up Gang threatened to undo all of the good that is the Clipse, just like on the mixtapes. Even moreso, they held my attention despite having a 7-foot giant in front of me, being jostled from all sides and the general annoyance of being at a packed show where assholes think that the rest of us want to be standing by the door and they can make it to the front of the stage. They spit their lines with a swagger and subtle rage that left me in awe, honestly. I mean, I don't know if these guys ever tour or do live shows, but they were made for it.
One last point: I never really considered it, but this band really does have some classic tracks despite only having one album and the two volume mixtape. People, including yours truly, went crazy when "Pussy," "Hot Damn" and "Grindin'" dropped. Hell, the biggest reaction came for their epic "Zen," which has only been on a mixtape, yet everyone seemed to be saying the lyrics. Please, can some label pick them up and release a full-length album, as this music needs to be heard?
Fader has pictures and more on the show they presented.
-Speaking of shows for the ages, I learned from PM the other night that E-40 and Lil' Jon did an album release party for E-40's new one, My Ghetto Report Card, at Jimi Hendrix's old studio, Electric Lady Studios. I am speechless, and just glad that I was in Philly and couldn't physically have made the party (because otherwise I'd be ). Julianne at Cowboyz and Poodles did, obviously, as she seems to be at everything cool going down in NYC. Catchdubs was there, as were the Fader guys. Damn, wish I made this one!
-Last night, I did have the great fortune of checking out my favorite band today, Kudu, before they embarked on their first serious national tour and release of their newest album, Death of the Party. It was the final Tuesday night performance at Nublu, the club on 4rd and C in Alphabet City, and also marked the last night of their weekly residency there (at least for the time being). For real, I have so much to say about this band, who I've been following around in a VW bus lately, but I'm gonna hold off right now. I'll just say that this show was great, the album is on the iPod ready for the Chinatown bus and this is what 2o06 will sound like (this and Spankrock!).
-As always, the best source for upcoming Philly's indie shows is The BM Rant. I have tickets to the Jenny Lewis show (thanks TA!), the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (thanks MC!), Animal Collective, the Silver Jews, the Artic Monkeys and Art Brut. I'm really excited for all of the shows, all of which have sold out except the Animal Collective (about 100 tickets left) and Art Brut.
-Finally, let me just point out a fact that more and more shows in Philly are selling out. I know that this may not sound like a big deal, but it is. Why, you ask? Because it is a sign that there are more and more people in the city, going out, doing things, supporting music and local promoters and venues. This means that those promoters can continue to do amazing things, that others will step up and compete and bring their vision to the table (perhaps even yours truly) and that people get a sense that things can happen in the 215. I hate to compare things to NYC, as I believe that cities are meant to be different and I don't want to add to the hype that NYC already coasts on, but when you are in Manhattan and Brooklyn you have a feeling that something is happening. You want to be a part of it, and simultaneously you feel like you can do something. Yeah!