I really was looking for excuses to go to bed early last night. It was Sunday night and turning in before 11:00 p.m. can do wonders for Monday morning. But as much as I wanted to crash, I dragged myself to Nectar Lounge in Fremont to see local poet/soul/hip-hop chanteuse Laura "Piece" Kelley-Jahn perform. She's a Seattle legend in her own right as far as female hip-hop is concerned and I didn't want to miss her. Several other solid local acts such as The Knox Family, Inkubus, and Digital Vintage were also on the bill, but by the time I showed up around 10:45, unfortunately those three groups were finished.
Laura "Piece" Kelley-Jahn at Nectar
But THEESatisfaction was on stage having their own funky hip-hop party as if nobody else was in the room. Every time I see those two ladies perform, they get better and it's clear they love what they do. Among the songs they performed, "Permission to Bash" and "deCode" were my two favorites. They did some newer material as well and hopefully those songs will be on their upcoming mixtape due out soon. They've still got a lot of room for growth as performers and sometimes, it's like there's a hole in their sound that needs to be filled with another element. They're really good at making their own beats--all space-aged digital b-girl type stuff, but maybe putting some live instruments behind them would offer a more full sound.For a second, it seemed like that was happening. As THEESatisfaction was playing their last song, Piece's bassist walked on stage, plugged in, and started playing along to the beat. At first it seemed like he was up there to jam with them (and maybe he was) but the rest of Piece's band walked on stage shortly afterward and sort of made it clear that they were speeding the show along. It actually seemed a little rude but if anything comes from that abrupt ending it's that these two emcees should experiment more with live instruments backing them up.
With Piece's seven person band on stage already speeding things along, it didn't take long for the star of the show to step up dressed like Josephine Baker and let her star quality shine. Because it was a Sunday night, she didn't play an extra long set and hit the audience with tight, soul-infused jams laced with her signature poetry. When Piece performs, it really reminds you of the way some elders say RAP stands for rhythm and poetry as she intertwines the two so well. She's also very diverse and covered a Bob Marley song to open her set, and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to close. That shows a lot of range and I'm looking forward to the new album that she's putting out this year. Hopefully you can read more about that on this site later.