Los Angeles nerd-rapper Pigeon John, an avowed disciple of the De La Soul school of hip-hop, got his start in the early 90s by rhyming at the Good Life Café launching pad for the likes of Jurassic 5, Pharcyde, Dilated Peoples, and other alt-rap icons. Eventually, PJ made his way to venerable Quannum Projects for a solo career in which he flows like a cross between Q-Tip and Mos Def, kicking rhymes about Phil Collins, ping-pong, and girls who wont talk to him over breezy Native Tongues grooves and the occasional Pixies sample. Fun, funky, and charming as it is, that sorta hip-hop doesnt exactly set the kidz pants on fire, so now Pigeon John has teamed up with producer Flynn Adam (of L.A. Symphony) for a new EP under the moniker Rootbeer. Rather than making an escape attempt on this debut to something that was some subtle artistic departure from the Lost Angels-flavored West Coast underground laid back rap that raised them, the duo has grown more apt to fully open their arms and embrace a vast array of what is relative to their own contemporary culture consumption today, says their presskit. In other words, theyre attempting to sell out. They describe themselves as MGMT injected with some N.E.R.D and A Tribe Called Quest; dunno if that combination will launch them to fame and fortune, but both are seasoned and engaging enough performers to at least make the show entertaining.
Fri., March 27, 9 p.m., 2009