Sunday, May 8, 2011

We Fight the Power with Rebel Diaz at the Jackpot and the Unknown Hipster Encounters Of Montreal in an Alley

Like most scenesters, we primarily listen to indie bands whose lyrics are willfully obscure, so it was a rare treat to spend an evening with the outspoken directness of Latino hip-hop duo Rebel Diaz (from "Chi-town" but now stationed in the Bronx). In a blistering, hour-long set, Rodstarz and GI's songs examined everything from Arizona's controversial attempt to get rid of "Ethnic Studies" (which they equated with "ethnic cleansing") to the duo's dwindling faith in the Obama administration ("they sold us hope," the duo explained in the song's intro, but it's been more like a "hoax"). The local progressive contingent of the audience seemed a little nervous with the latter sentiment (after all, dude just ended the War on Terror six days ago!), but otherwise the call-and-response dynamic between the duo and the crowd was lively and energetic all evening. When they called, we responded as directed ("We say people, you say power!").

Chip: "During one song we were supposed to be saying 'canto,' meaning 'song,' but I misunderstand and kept saying 'gato,' meaning 'cat.' I may have sounded a bit foolish."

Rebel Diaz ally themselves with the hip-hop "community," separate and distinct from the corporate rap hegemony, which they lambasted for its misogyny and greed. Their show was inspiring but, most importantly, we could shake our asses to it.

Verdict: four out of four fists in the air.

On a side note, and in the spirit of the evening's righteous anger, let's mention that the opening act was the KC Latino Writers Collective, one of whose poets shushed the scenesters in the back during her performance, much to our delight. Some of you are saying to yourselves right now: But the Jackpot is a rock club whose patrons are there to talk loudly and pompously in an effort to get laid. While we'd normally agree, we side with the poet in this instance: can't you take your drinks and go outside if you want to talk twice as loudly as the person on stage?

Richard: "This was easily THE greatest silencing of scenesters I've witnessed at the Jackpot since the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle ended a cellphone call with a polite finger to his lips."


On the other end of Mass. Street, Of Montreal was delighting a very different kind of crowd with their usual shenanigans. According to I Heart Local Music's review, "This show had a crab slow-motion fighting two pigs, a wedding gone awry and a human horse." I Heart's intrepid reviewer even encountered the band prior to their on-stage antics:

"... when I was walking from my car to the Of Montreal show, I walked by the alley behind Liberty Hall and found the band playing ping pong (table and all) and skipping rope."

Our friend, the reclusive Unknown Hipster, who is not a fan but lives near Liberty Hall, also encountered the band in the alley yesterday. Here's his/her alternative take on their alley antics:

"Some were stretched out on plastic yard furniture and others were sitting on the bed of a Dodge Durango. All were drinking beer and snarking away at passersby.

I had to walk around those pretentious morons a couple times during their yard party. I ignored them. They thought I was walking up to talk to them, and they gave me some dirty looks. Then I threw the gigantic bag of trash that I had in my hands into the dumpster they were sitting nearby. Then they started to look at me like, "Wait. Why aren't you trying to talk to us?"

Nothing bothers hipsters more than when the person you're trying to ignore ignores you. UH: 1, Of Montreal: 0 "


The Unknown Hipster said...

Ugh. I'm strangely touched by I Heart Music's typically pollyanna-ish take on the local music scene, believe it or not.

But those Of Montreal kids weren't playing ping pong or skipping rope. At least they were doing the more respectable thing of just sitting around drinking beer and being too cool for everyone. I reject her revisionist narrative. Those jerks looked more trailer park than school yard (which, come to think of it, may be the echt hipster ethos).

revisionist history said...

We believe everything we hear. And in our own account, they were playing hopscotch while dressed in pig costumes!


Eudora said...

I hate this fucking town.

Or, conversely, I'd like to love this fucking town with a tire iron.