“If you see me walking down the street/And I start to cry each time we meet/Walk on by, walk on by.”--From “Walk on By” by

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Anonymity sacrificed, a cover band, and a 16-year-old MC

“If you see me walking down the street/And I start to cry each time we meet/Walk on by, walk on by.”--From “Walk on By” by Isaac Hayes

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On Friday, I sacrificed my precious anonymity by heading over to Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre to check out my boss’s Foo Fighters cover band Pity the Foo (one of the all-time great cover band names, in my humble opinion), which served as a rocking warm-up to promoter/MC Candidt’s live, local-centric hiphop spectacularama “The Corner.” As a freelancer toiling in Ye Olde Internet Age, I often function without ever speaking to, let alone meeting with, my editors; this allows me the freedom to do what I want without fear of retribution from the institution. In other words, I don’t represent them any more than they represent me. My old professor at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, Dave Hickey, who spent several years writing about music and art and, apparently, boobies for pay without ever stepping foot in an office, put it best in a Q&A with Sheila Heti published in The Believer mag last year:

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“DH: … Let me explain. If I sell an article to Vanity Fair, they give me some money and we’re quits. I can take that money and spend it on heroin and Arab boys if I want to. But if I get the money I make from the university every year, that comes with a requirement that I not be a pedophile, that I not be a drug addict, that I not tell the truth, that I not say what I think about the president of the university. That’s what that money is. And if I take a job at a university and I’m a young person, I have six years in which I can’t express my opinion until I get tenure. Now, are you going to remember your opinions for six years? No!

SH: So if you eschew money from grants and from the government, then you’ve got to make money elsewhere--

DH: I wrote reviews of Porter Wagoner albums and squibs for titty magazines, but I fucking wrote them because I was trying to win and avoid all unavoidable compromises that presented me with the fantasies of comfort and security. I just like to write lucid prose. …”

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So now, having met my editor Chris Kornelis, who plays drums in Pity the Foo, and, later that evening, my other editor Brian Barr, I can no longer cop smack and buy foreign-born minors of the same sex for deviant pleasure. Which pretty much ruins my Fourth of July Weekend. That said, sacrificing the cover of darkness afforded by freelancing via email was OK, especially in light of--professional ass-licking alert!--the fact that I enjoyed myself and found both Kornelis and Barr to be nice guys, as bosses go anyway. The music was loud and played with passion and verve in a way that nevertheless showed that the dudes, unlike many a cover band in Vegas, don’t take themselves too seriously. I even found myself nodding my head and slapping my thigh to a couple of the tunes, something the Foo Fighters themselves were never able to do for me. Nevertheless, if you see me again, fellas, just make like Isaac Hayes and walk on by; I’ve probably got more pressing things to do anyway, like shooting up.

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I command you to listen to Candidt's "Voodoo" on his MySpace site now.

Even though I was meeting face-to-face with my bosses for the first time on Friday, I nevertheless wasn’t on official bid-nass. As such, I didn’t have my pen and pad with me, so I’m unfortunately only able to paint a super-duper brief, impressionistic portrait of this month’s installment of “The Corner.” It also didn’t help, for the purposes of accurate reporting, that, because I was fresh out of my preferred downer, I was making up for my inability to lose all sense of self and temporal restraint in an opiate-induced dream by pounding beer. Which nicely leads to this: next time “The Corner” is going down, hit it up and experience it for yourself, lazy-ass. For real.

Before signing off so I can go watch C-SPAN, I’ll just say this lil’ bit about Grieves, the illest 16-year-old MC on the planet. Of course, dude isn’t just now able to drive--he’s a lot older--but that’s what he told the crowd at one point. The Weekly’s editorial fellow, whom I also met for the first time that night--and whose name I can’t recall; sorry--and I believed it for a moment, gullible journos that we are, but I later found out, after an intense investigation that took me to the courthouse and, later, the welfare office that he’s…well, I can’t recall what age, either. Like I was said, I was drinking. Would that I had brought a pen and pad!

Anyway, Grieves looks vaguely like Napoleon Dynamite, but is a lot more controlled and a lot less self-conscious than that brain-dead goof who somehow became a counter-culture hero. Indeed, Grieves retains an infectious assuredness that manifests itself in a clear projection of his lyrics (so many MCs sound like angry men drowning when rocking live) and a use of the entire stage--which, of course, is pretty small at the Jewel. Rather than break down the music via the deployment of metaphors mixed with footnotes referencing other, more well-known MCs, I’ll simply direct you to Grieves’ MySpace site, so you can listen for yourself. I’ll also direct you to Candidt’s site, where you’ll find a few samples of his stuff, including the track “Voodoo,” the dark juju of which I’ll not try to capture here, either. Suffice to say it’s the fucking jam, and, if it’s indicative of the type of material we’re to find on his forthcoming album Sweat Suit and Church Shoes, may make it one of the tippy-top local releases of the year.

 
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