REVERBfest at Market Street Athlete

Wizdom, Knox Family, Ripynt ...

10 p.m.OrbitronOrbitron's first release, B-Boy Universal, did not receive nearly as much attention as it should have from the hip-hop community here. Whether he's holding the mike or spinning on his head, listening to Orbitron rhyme is almost as dizzying as watching him on the floor in b-boy mode (he's already world-famous for his skills as a member of the Circle of Fire breakdance crew). The abstract, metaphysical rhymes on B-Boy Universal introduce us earthlings to a man who sees his future as an MC written in the stars. With all his talk about consciousness, Orb seems as though he wants to be the next Gift of Gab in approach as well as delivery, and it's definitely possible. The man works hard. "I try and touch the sky every time I get on the mike," Orbitron rhymes in "Spirit Run," one of several tracks on B-Boy Universal in which he pledges his dedication to the craft. Meanwhile, Seattle vet DJ Tecumseh provides the scratchalicious beats, taking a lesson from hip-hop's old guard. Overall, the record's a feel-good crowd-pleaser, complete with a guest appearance from none other than the Blue Scholars' MC Geologic to prove that Orbitron's not only got the skill but the support to do this right. Plus, like all respectable Northwest hip-hop, the whole record's dank with herb references. Who says stoners have to be unmotivated losers? SARA BRICKNER9 p.m.TruckasaurusPitchfork made the bold statement that Truckasaurus was the "future of techno." Yeah, Pitchfork makes a lot of grand claims (remember Clap Your Hands Say Yeah?), but it means something when it's applied to one of our bands. Right? Either way, if Truckasaurus is the future of techno, then the future is certainly rooted in the past. Using extremely outdated electronics, the group creates dance music for nostalgics. Drum machines clap and click like primitive video-game effects, and their throbbing synths recall early-'80s futurism. Somehow, Truckasaurus does it all without sounding gimmicky. And though they traffic in hipster irony (their video for "Fak!" features Hulk Hogan fighting the Ultimate Warrior), they're really just a playful electro-pop band that doesn't take itself too seriously, which might be the most refreshing thing about them. BRIAN J. BARR8 p.m.The GiganticsSee feature.7 p.m.Wizdom"We bringing you something we call Music: The Soul of the Man," says rapper Wizdom, referring to the title of his and his producer/collaborator Epidemmik's summer-'08 release. "And it details a lot of different things going on with hip-hop—specifically, originality and lack thereof." This declaration on the disc's intro track was probably necessary, as Wizdom showed himself to be an artist unafraid of introspection on his debut disc, '07's Book of Wizdom. The danger here, of course, is that unless you're gifted with a Proust-like eye for infinity, you're gonna have to widen your scope beyond yourself. And so Wizdom did on his sophomore effort. Assisted by D.C.-based Epidemmik's cosmopolitan production (Motown-style R&B, Spanish flamenco, traditional East Coast), Wizdom expanded his subject to include, among other things, the overblown perils of being a white rapper ("N.A.W.", featuring Grynch) and outsized ego ("Hollywood") in the age of MySpace. KEVIN CAPP6 p.m.Canary SingGet excited, people: Hollis "Ispire" Wear and Madeleine "the Lioness" Clifford, Seattle's favorite poet-MCs, are finally making a full-length album. Well, they're working on it, at least—there's no concrete space for them to record in yet (would someone just hook them up, already?). And because of that work, shows have been sparse. "Both of us have been performers for five or six years," Clifford explains, "but we've only been recording for a year. So we're focused on learning more about recording music right now." For those out there who aren't familiar with Canary Sing yet, they're the women who, even though they're unsigned with only a self-released EP to their names, earned themselves the privilege of performing with Saul Williams onstage at Bumbershoot this year. See, before Ispire and the Lioness were MCs, they were spoken-word poets. Which is how they learned to spit such eloquent rhymes at speeds most MCs only dream about. Both full-time college seniors (Madeleine's an English major at the University of Washington, Hollis is a history major at Seattle University), the women write informed, mad-catchy rhymes about being biracial women in a male-dominated scene. But they also write more lighthearted stuff, and even when they get serious, they infuse difficult subjects with humor; they refer to themselves, Clifford tells me, as "playfully political" MCs. So watch out: If you're posturing, they will, as Hollis says in the song "Heroines," serve you like couscous. That's right. Couscous. Chew on that for a minute. SB5 p.m.The Knox FamilyThe Knox Family brands itself as a mix of "street and scholar." While Seattle hip-hop is no stranger to that particular cultural mashup, this trio is not just another group of scholars wearing blue collars. A collaboration among DJ B-Girl, Jerm, and Julie C—all of whom are righteous MCs and DJs on their own—The Knox Family is a hip-hop/activist powerhouse. Combining a heavy gangster element with catchy melodies and poignant subject matter, The Knox Family is the kind of group that inspires audiences to get off their butts and move (both physically and politically). BJB4 p.m.KublakaiKublakai's been busy this year. On January 3, he dropped his debut album, The Basics; then eight months later he dropped another album as part of The Let Go with Type and Captain Midnite. It's called Tomorrow Handles That, and it is probably one of the best independent hip-hop albums out of Seattle so far this year. From Sea-town anthems like "Sun Don't Shine" to party jams like "Booty Fiend," Tomorrow Handles That offers up a whole smorgasbord of absurd, funny rhymes that wink and nudge you in the hope that you'll get the unspoken message. Like "Live Life Like a Western," which features Symmetry: "Six-shooter in my pants and I ain't talking 'bout a gun/Looking for the hussy with the freshest set of lungs." With Captain Midnite's proficient production skills and cameos from Louis Logic, Josh Martinez, Grieves and Mac Lethal, make sure to pick up this record when Kublakai gets onstage this weekend. SB3 p.m.RipyntThe Everett-based MC Ripynt (pronounced "repent") has been working, and working, and working some more on his new album R.I.P.: Re-inventing Poetics. While he still doesn't have a release date, he's thinking January '09 might be a good guess. Of course, all this toil and waiting is to be expected from a guy who has recorded roughly 40 songs in the past year, and who has the kind of proclivity for perfection usually reserved for clergymen. With the help of his two primary producers, his younger brother Aether and pal Sinic, Ripynt makes well-deep music about everyday struggle and strife. What's it like to be a member of the working poor? Ripynt can tell you. What precipitates breakups? Ask Ripynt. Can music really save lives? Ripynt knows better than most. Witness talent in the raw. KC

 
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