Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The art of storytelling

Let's go back. Way back. Thursday, I mentioned, whoadie to whoadie, some risky bidness that needed to be taken care of come Friday. I felt the need to prove I haven't just been sending people down rabbit trails every weekend- feeding them to Nigerian pyramid schemes or entrapping them into quasi-legal medical experiements.

Since I've been drinking Budweiser and Bombay Sapphire in the Show Me State Saturday and Sunday, I've been unable to report until today. The memory of the whole bit is pretty hazy and I am interpereting it mainly through text messages, which all read something like "U bikin?", "Shimmy Shmmmmy yaa dawg," "Freeway. Early" and "Naw, Fubz not here." Not much help to say the least. Fortunately, numerous other internet beings documented it for me:

Early bit:

A small warehouse on 4th and Green Streets. Joey Sweeney serves cheese plates and showcases fancy video projections for his new web venture . There is a keg. I talk to KT, Sarah and Thom of Broadzilla and Timothy from the Failed Alliance while a guy videotapes the back of my head. Tim is sure Joey hates him because Joey named the Failed Alliance the 6th worst band in Philadelphia. I told him Joey kids because he loves. Tim is not so sure this is true.

I discuss matters of bohemian lifestyle and urban greening with West Philly-ites Kyle Miller, Andrew Gaspar et al and that guy Patrick who builds bikes and once bought a Phil Ochs record from me on the porch. Ruth and I talk odds and ends about the super duper jumpoff that you'll soon know about. Shhhhhhhhhhh.

Middle bit:

The Philebrity jawn moved over to RUBA. That bol 19, Jayson Musson et al played some music as American Sneakers. Jayson refuses to sublimate his blackness when asked. After some unbeatmatched Ed Banger and such, Bleached Black takes the wheels and Andrew immediately plays I Feel Love and one of the tracks from Plug Me to Death by the Erotic Drum Band. Illness quotient: 90. Nerd quotient: N.

Later bit:

We rolled to the Ukie to catch the White Tees White Belts extravaganza featuring Peedi Crakk. As I walked in the door, I picked up a copy of the new Beautiful/Decay and was disappointed to see that the characteristic write-up of last issue's party was missing. At first, I was salty for purely egotistical reasons (tryin' to see my name in print), but I then realized that the paragraph or two had been left out deliberately. That show, on December 19th, was one of the last for Disco D, and surely one paragraph of "yeah, Disco D, Philadelphyinz and Caps and Jones- it was the jumpoff!" would have been an insulting tribute. RIP Dave and respect due to Amir, Ben, Fubz and their good taste.

All of a sudden, shit goes nuts

I'll be honest, most hip hop shows are fantastic in principle, but pretty boring in practice. I've put on dozens of rap shows and 90% of the time I'm disappointed. Unfortunately, this was no exception. It was fun, it was nuts, but it was still a classic "stop the song, bitch about the sound" kind of show. I think most emcees have let their egos completely destroy any notion that hip hop is Party Music. Just being in the presence of an artist I like doesn't guarantee that I'm losing my mind about the shit- I'm not 16 anymore. I think that the only two emcee-oriented rap shows I've been to in the last five years that I really really enjoyed were Mr. Lif (3-4 times) and Edan. The common thread with those two is that they practice the forgotten element of stagecraft- banter. Banter isn't "hey, turn that up, how come you ain't makin more noise than that?" it's something that needs to be rehearsed and honed so as to keep the show going and keep the energy moving from song to song. If rap is no longer a disco-influenced genre, musically, the Master of Ceremonies element of "emceeing" needs to be brought back in earnest. Play the Catskills and you'll see what I mean. But I digress:

Peedi dropped some of his mixtape jawns and even came out the cut with a little ODB medley that touched everybody on the inside. But we're talking ODB here, so I don't mean it touched their hearts. He dropped Flipside. Basically, heads were fuckin' amped that Peedi Crakk (and Freeway too, I think) was in the building, makin da mack go brrrnnggggg!. EARLY!

Beyond this, things get rather fractured- I think Jay poured a beer on me champagne style, and I danced on a pile of broken glass before jumping on Kurt's shoulders and almost knocking him into some dudes who would have hit us with pool cues. Oh, and I managed to have a ten minute discussion with Emynd about FreeDarko and the NBA playoffs. We agreed that B. Shoals cares way way more about basketball than either of us do and that we should probably leave the Wittgenstein-Arenas mashups to the professionals. But you already knew that.

Philebrity.tv and RUBA photos by Philebrity.com. More photos here.

White Tees White Belts/ Peedi Crakk photos by Ian Meyer. More photos here.

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