I've heard some mixed reviews on Atmosphere's show this past Friday night here in Seattle. Some folks said it was really good, others set it>"/>
I've heard some mixed reviews on Atmosphere's show this past Friday night here in Seattle. Some folks said it was really good, others set it was just alright, and of course, some people can't get that brand of Midwest hip-hop at all, so they hated it. Well, hate is a strong word, but with the whole Rhymesaysers camp, you either love it or you don't and there's not much room for people on the fence.
After the jump, read a review from SW art director Jane Sherman as she gives us her take on the show. Since she's followed Atmosphere and P.O.S. for years, she seemed like the right person to go check out the show.
Full disclosure: I'm from Minneapolis and sport a healthy dose of Midwest pride. Also, I could not have been more distracted at Friday night's Atmosphere/P.O.S/Attracted to Gods show. I had a little song dancing around in my head goes a little something like this: daddy's got a tumor and his head popped off (well part of it...still waiting on the final prognosis) which is to say i wanted to go home. Not literally, like to the house where I keep my things but the one they say you can't go back to again
So yeah, I was running late and missed all but the last song of Attracted to Gods set. Got in the door just in time to hear guitarist/vocalist Nate Collis (also of Atmosphere) expressing his love for Seattle, "don't know what it is but it feels a little like coming home". I feel you Nate. Heart, warming. I wasn't familiar with Attracted to Gods before the show, but I'm attracted and downloading the record right now. It's available on their MySpace page so you can download it as well.
A chain of cigarettes and drinks later it's onto P.O.S. I've got history with P.O.S., but he doesn't know it and i hesitate to admit it... see, I (over) designed a 2004 cover of City Pages (our sister paper from whence i came) And I've been following him ever since from a respectful distance. P.O.S. has a certain swagger that contradicts his sweet expressions and for a while there it seemed like he was all about contradictions (aren't we all?) but with this performance he seemed set on getting his point across, which if I heard him right is "do what you want" but not like, "fuck it, do whatever you want" a fine point. Just a little prickly for my ear on this particular day. Seattle loved him that night though, going so far as to chant "P.O.S." repeatedly when he finished "De La Souls." His priceless response, "You guys don't have to yell for me cause I'm like right here." Heart, warmer.
After his set (again, with the chain smoking) outside I overheard a couple of guys leaving the show chanting/murmuring "boring, boring..." really? Maybe they missed the last song ("Optimist"), or more likely I guess it's just not for them. And that's cool.
I also overheard a couple of kids playing Atmosphere trivia. "So what are their real names?" "Um, Slug is Sean Daley and Ant is Anthony...I don't know his last name." It's Davis.
Which brings us to the final set, our old pals Atmosphere. The reason I left the house on this (personally) dismal day and of course it was worth it. I went in hoping (against the odds) not to hear "Yesterday" (a diddy about loosing his dad, which Sean introduced as a happy song) and I ended up smiling though the whole thing. I'm continually amazed and inspired by these guys ability to craft all that they do to such a degree and still never sound labored. It's all in the details. Tight production/musicianship, beautiful vocals (Mankwe Ndosi singing "I'ma be alright you aint gotta be my friend tonight, you would probably scare me.") If my phone (on which i took detailed notes hadn't died yesterday I'd be able to tell you what song that was on, and more). I think the set was around 90 minutes, jam packed full of truncated old favorites (off God Loves Ugly, which they just re-released) and newer songs from When Life Gives You Lemons and the Sad Clown/Bad Dub series. During the encore, they played deeper cuts, like "Guns and Cigarettes" which always makes me laugh. There was more love for Seattle "We don't say this at every show," whether or not that's entirely true...heart, warmed. Sometimes you can go home, if only for a brief moment of "sunshine".
I ran into Anthony outside the venue later that night, some kids driving by yelled "hey slug" at him. Me: "hey, they called you slug." Him: "yeah, I don't know why they still do that." Seriously. The point is Seattle loves Atmosphere...even if we don't always know their names.