REVERB Lineup: New York Fashion Academy

Champagne Champagne, THEESatisfaction, Spaceman, and more.

3:30 p.m. ~ Fresh Espresso  Fresh Espresso is bouncing along a fine line. For dance-music fans, the duo's synth-heavy electronic feel—orchestrated entirely by producer P Smoov—makes the group sound like protégés of Kraftwerk and Justice. But if you're a hip-hop fan, Rik Rude's witty raps and verbal braggadocio should fit in your breast pocket nicely. When Fresh Espresso combines those worlds, it creates a futuristic hip-hop party where audience members can nerd out during every song. The group's debut album, Glamour, is selling well locally, and word is both Girl Talk and Erick Sermon of EPMD are fans. Figures. JONATHAN CUNNINGHAM4:30 p.m. ~ Grynch  The balladeer of Ballard may be short, but Grynch is difficult to overlook. A string of recently released EPs have shown an impressive progression that's helped cement the big-voiced MC as a force in the scene. On his latest, Chemistry, Grynch tackles a wide range of topics with an actor's ear for recognizing and capturing moods. "My Volvo" finds him lamenting and loving his crappy car, while on "Doin' Too Much," Grynch speaks honestly about the consequences of hard living. His stage shows reflect this multi-pronged perspective, and often feature other prominent members of the local hip-hop community. KEVIN CAPP5:30 p.m. ~ GMK  We've all been the victim of DJs who, sans irony, power through half-track after half-track, content to let a song's chorus do the talking and not much else. These ADD-afflicted sets are part of a larger problem in a frenetic culture whose all-day channel-flipping sessions and six-syllable text messages have eroded the long pause as much as the long song—and Columbia City MC GMK knows it. His brilliant 2009 EP, Songs for Bloggers, lampooned hyperactivity by reveling in it. Each cut is purposefully clipped and easy to digest for all those off their meds. His flow, too, is palatable and pop in the best sense of both terms, and his voice is tinged with a teenager's enthusiasm, even when he's enjoying an "Adult Swim" or spitting game at "College Girls." KEVIN CAPP6:30 p.m. ~ SK  One of the newest artists on the small but mighty label Sportn' Life, which just released D.Black's magnificent Ali'yah. What most impresses me about Sportn' Life is its ability to cultivate the artist within each of its rappers: Its three stalwart talents, D.Black, Spaceman, and Fatal Lucciauno, have each cultivated a distinct personality and lyrical perspective over the years. SK, who is D. Black's cousin, was actually a part of Sportn' Life four years ago, and took a hiatus before deciding this year to dedicate himself to his hip-hop career. On his remix of "Dolla Dolla," SK proves he has the writing chops to be noticed, and this show will be a great opportunity to see him at the relative beginning of his Sportn' Life career. HOLLIS WONG-WEAR7:30 p.m. ~ Spaceman  When we talk about stage presence, we mean someone who holds our attention and draws us in, without us realizing it, until he or she leaves—the same effect as when you walk out of a dark movie theater into daylight. Spaceman has this power. The MC has often served as a backup man/hype man for Sportn' Life labelmate D. Black, but really Spaceman is his own man. He has no problems working a crowd solo: His boundless physical energy, firebrand flow, and wiry yet muscular frame command attention. And when Seattle producer Jake One gives him a beat, fuggedaboutit: "Big Homie Style" and "This Is That Fire" break temperature gauges with their witty self-confidence. KEVIN CAPP8:30 p.m. ~ Fatal Lucciauno  Fatal Lucciauno once made music that fans of gangster rap could enjoy. While a good portion of Seattle's hip-hop scene embraced him for that, the streets loved him even more. But Lucciauno is growing more mature. He's not glorifying street life any longer, but trying to get Seattle's youth to put down their guns. If the juxtaposition is striking, it should be. Imagine a man named Fatal advocating peace. Categorizing the old Lucciauno was easy: Either you liked up-tempo hood-hop or you didn't. But now Seattle has a lyrical lion on its hand—one who still has the respect of the streets and is finally learning to use that wisely. JONATHAN CUNNINGHAM9:30 p.m. ~ THEESatisfaction  See feature.10:30 p.m. ~ Champagne Champagne  In a city where going the route of party hip-hop is more accepted than ever, the question of who can out-Spankrock whom is now a viable one. Since Champagne Champagne used to tour briefly with Spankrock (aka the king of black hipster-hop), that should be enough to give them the local crown. But aside from their past affiliations, Champagne Champagne know how to get the Capitol Hill party mob and middle-school-aged kids at Seattle Center equally excited about their music. It's all fun lyricism mixed with space-age live beats and pop-culture references that make people want to dance. JONATHAN CUNNINGHAM

 
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