Slap, slap! Wakey, wakey. Ready to roll again? Allez cuisine!
I've sung the praises of Orlando's DJ SPS high and low, specifically how his fleet- fingered sets leave my brain in little chunks dripping down the nearest wall. Well, those skills just earned the turntable killer the DMC USA Supremacy crown, a hugely prestigious title given by the world's authority on DJ culture. This effectively validates him as the country's best battle DJ.
SPS will be flown to London to compete in the DMC World DJ Championships Sept. 26 and 27. Serious propers and good luck, son.
Transplanted from West Palm Beach, newly local band Adeste (July 28, the Social) is an act that, despite commendable spirit, was a laboratory disaster. There were moments of clarity when they were full-tilt, but then they'd thwart it all by getting ambitious. Creating a new style or making a botched milkshake sometimes come about though the same process, but they are not the same thing. As far as Adeste's milkshake goes, there's an unfortunate vocal mix that blends screamo, grindcore and, yes, emo singing styles. Now throw in emotional punk rock and cheesy synthesizers, y'know, for good measure, and the result is everywhere but nowhere.
A trio of players from three different East Coast states, the New South Tour (July 30, Uncle Lou's) bashed out garage-roughened rock & roll. A good balance of melody, guts and swagger, their music is the kind of coarse fare that's simple but rib-stickingly satisfying.
By the way, Uncle Lou really needs someone to get all his shows posted in one reliable place. Currently, dates are just hawked by various promoters and bands through their own individual channels; there's nothing central. No one's even bothered to pick up the ball on the place's neglected MySpace page. As a dialed-in columnist, you'd think that I'd be totally in the know about the concert haps there, but not so. There are many reasons to go to this bar. People just need to be made more aware of what they are. Seriously, somebody get on that.
I popped in on Preacher Bill's weekly Acoustic Appreciation Night (July 31, Taste). I love that this curated event persists because I believe it's valuable and actually has lots of untapped potential, though the bland stereotypes of the genre still permeate the night. Jonathan Silva is one such case. He didn't make me wanna off myself or anything, which is saying something. Dude actually has nice guitar technique that's inventive and precise. I just wish it aspired to be more than vanilla.
The surprise in this Cracker Jack box was Stephen Rock, whose acoustic music is distinguished by a Southern Gothic mournfulness. He has a rich, soulful voice, though his vibrato can sometimes run away on him when he works it too loud and too long. But his depth and distinctiveness deserves higher visibility.
Speaking of which, where are all you interesting acoustic musicians out there? I know you exist; stop being so sheepish. Play nights like these and save us already.
Anyway, back to the butt-kicking with New York's Early Man (Aug. 2, Back Booth), whose raw and muscular set was steeped in metal tradition. Sabbath, Maiden, Priest; yup, it's all in there. Didn't exactly expect Mike Conte's singing to get so, um, operatic. But still, a good, heavy set.
North Carolina's Valient Thorr stole it, as they always do. With a blend of hard rock, metal and punk that really pumps the nuts, their set's humor and gusto was so convincing that we all might wanna consider welcoming sleeveless denim jackets back into fashion.
Making it all fly was frontman Valient Himself. Besides being the only entertainer I can think of who can be described with the words "preacher" and "Viking" both, this guy is a phoenix of showmanship.
Recording career—wise, the band hasn't been able to recapture the magic of its 2005 debut album, Total Universe Man (best album title ever); maybe they should just put out an entire long-player of Valient's between-song spiels. Despite their extemporaneity, his rousing ramblings always turn out gold and land somewhere between church revival and stand-up comedy. Betcher ass this guy's gonna deliver my eulogy.
There's nothing more to say about Valient Thorr besides the fact that I am totally gay for this firstname.lastname@example.org