OMG! OMG! OMG! Block Party tomorrow

a picture of tomorrow night (from the future!?)

Capitol. Hill. Block. Party. Tomorrow. Which means lots of music. Insane, incredible amounts of incredible, insane music.

Oh, and winter will finally be over. (For reals please this time?)

So here are the shows you should go to that you might not have heard of- we here at Bus HQ have a supersecret Seattle hip-hop tracking machine and know exactly which Seattle crews are going to, in the words of Saint George Clinton, going to “blow the roof off that mother.

So here go the brief and reductive snippets of local hip-hop talent performing at Block Party this weekend:

Shabazz Palaces- Friday, 6:00 PM, mainstage

knowledge incarnate

This crew are kind of a big deal. They’re getting all kinds of local (next Nirvana!) and national (Pitchfork digs hip-hop!) press. That Pitchfork interview is actually pretty rad. It gets into the whole deconstruction of showbiz thing they have going. (With these cats it really is all about the music.)

And the music: they’re mysterious futurefeudal assassins who come out of their Nation of Islam palace/temple somewhere deep underneath the CD or high above Beacon and teach you some film noir parable before shooting the guy who was going to rat you out before subsequently demanding your loyalty and your cash flow. Which you gladly give, because the beats hit hard and the rhymes make you knowing and afraid.

Or something. In any case, they (anti-)present themselves in an awesome way and deconstruct the hype machine and hip-hop and everything else and generally blow away the competition. Should they deign to compete, that is. Buy their EPs and check the freshness Friday.

Fantastic Four (Stay Hi Brothers,The Physics, Candidt, J.Pinder)- Friday, 10:00 PM, Neumo’s (21+ only)

out the backpack and spitting the fire

I have finally made it to the promised land of “people of a certain age” shows and this is only the second time I’ll take advantage of it. (Recap of the first time comes next.) If you’re of the age that can come in freely please do come join. I expressed my love for The Physics not too long ago in this space, and I encourage you to follow that link to the free music held within.

I have not expressed my love for Pinder in this space, however. He’s one of my favorite MCs- not just local MCs, mind you, but in terms of MCs all over the world. Pinder is a beast of an MC and sounds like Seattle. Voice, flow, rhyming patterns, similies, metaphors: complete package. Backpack Wax is only a mixtape but it’s still in heavy rotation on this end years after the fact (though Vitamin D and Jake One production don’t hurt keeping it there).

THEEsatisfaction- Saturday, 5:15 PM, Neumo’s (21+ only)

space invaders of future fun

This pair is crazy: crazy talented, crazy energetic, crazy cool, crazy original. They took their hip-hop Lego set and tossed it in the big bucket with both their R&B singing and licensed Star Trek Legos and built a weird spaceship without using any of those illustrated instructions. And they came up with something that is totally original and, despite sounding super lo-fi, is straight outta the future. They also were my first 21+ show, so for that I thank them.

Truly, they’ve got it all: unique sound; interesting approach; accessible, danceable product; a kick-ass live show; hunger and work ethic; and talent, talent, talent. They and their lyrics hit on much everything cool about our generation and the current state of the culture, when experience is diverse and musicians feel free to borrow from every genre out there.

Those are my personal highlights- in brief, Mad Rad, Fresh Espresso, and State of the Artist are all also totally worth your time. Blue Scholars will be around, of course; I haven’t seen them for a minute. What’ve they been up to anyhow? I mean, besides goofy/tight spur-of-the-moment DIY download singles, that is. Perhaps we’ll find out.

Full schedule here. Oh, and stop by the Bus’s booth if you want popsicles. We bought freezers special.


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