As most of you know, I live in a little beach town in Florida. It's perfect for me. I can walk two blocks east from my house to the Atlantic Ocean or go one block west and hit the Indian River (it's actually not a river but an Intracoastal Estuary, but whatever). The weather is generally pretty great and the lifestyle is laid back. One major drawback to where I live is that no good live music ever comes to town. When I was growing up The Wailers used to play a yearly show on the deck of one of the local beachfront hotels (where the Teej & Mrs. Teej stayed earlier this year) and last year Fishbone played at a local bar, but by in large if you want to see any live music of renown you have to travel to Orlando, or farther. As I've gotten older, I make it to less and less of these shows, especially if they occur during the work week.
Somehow, tonight is the exception to this rule. One of my favorite hip hop acts and one of the better live shows in hip hop, Atmosphere, is playing at an outdoor venue Cocoa Village as part of the Kickin' Up Dust Tour. Also playing will be Slighty Stoopid as well as West Coast underground hip hop stalwarts Eligh and The Grouch. I can't emphasize enough how rare this is, or how excited I am.
Atmosphere is a pretty unique group in hip hop. They hail from Minnesota and were one of the earlier underground/independent label hip hop groups to enjoy critical and (light) commercial success (They also had a distribution deal with Epitaph records at one point. A first for a rap group). The first time I heard Atmosphere was back in Gainesville when I heard The Woman with the Tattooed Hands.
It was, and still is, unlike any rap song I'd ever heard. From that point on, I tried to get my hands on any new music from Atmosphere. Then they released God Loves Ugly which still ranks as one of my all time favorite hip hop albums. Slug and Ant have somehow found a way to make "emo rap" without sounding like whiny complainers. If it sounds odd, that's because it is. It's different but very good. If you're in Minneapolis and they're playing (Rob) or they come to your town, I encourage you to check them out. And because it's Friday, here's one of my personal favorites that also happens to go well with most of our preferred Friday evening activity.
Enjoy the weekend, Gheorghies.