I went to see Lyrics Born [MySpace] at The Independent in San Francisco Friday night. (He's a half-Japanese, half-Italian rapper who lives in Berkeley.) I like that they actually officially let us take photos, which they rarely do in SF, even at some smaller venues. The show was really fun. I like that he had a full band and backup singer with him:
It was a great contrast from the opening act, who only had a DJ for music. It was also an interesting contrast from a typical rock show because the music never stopped! Every time he finished a song, the band would immediate segue into the next, just jamming along even when he's talking to the audience. It gave the show a non-stop party feel.
The hipster crowd wasn't quite as loud as it could've been, but it was still a lot more into it than the crowd at a typical nod-your-head indie rock concert. All-in-all, I'd say the music was actually even better live than on the album. I think that Galactic [MySpace] album I've been listening to, From the Corner to the Block [Amazon] has really gotten me to like this whole funk music backing hip-hop thing.
Lyrics Born live:
Lyrics Born / Later That Day... (2003):
Lyrics Born / Same !@#$ Different Day (2005):
Half the tracks on this album are remixes of his first album, but in most cases I actually like the remixes together (with the exception of the two songs on the original I really liked already). The interesting thing is that most of them are more than "remixes" in that they have whole new verses or even new guest rappers with new lyrics, so they're more like alternative versions than mere remixes. The production on this album is much fuller and more exciting. I particularly like "Shake It Off (Bad Dreams Part II)" and "The Last Trumpet (Halou Remix)".
Lyrics Born / Everywhere At Once (2008):His new album just came out, and I haven't quite listened to it enough to give it a good review yet, but my instinct is that it's somewhere between the first two. The songs don't sound quite as catchy so far, but I do rather like "I Like It, I Love It", while "Do U Buy It?" is both annoying and catchy at the same time. :P There is more R&B-ish stuff (by guest vocalists) on this album, and I'm not as into that.
Galactic / From the Corner to the Block (2007):
I might as well review this while I'm at it. It's the best album I've heard in a while. Galactic is this New Orleans funk band who joined up with a different rapper for each track on their new album, and it's awesome. (Lyrics Born is on the first track, but it's not really one of the best tracks on the album.) My favorite is track 2: "...And I'm Out", featuring Mr. Lif. Click that link to listen to it. Pure awesome.
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And now for something completely different, from Maker Faire on Saturday: