Beat beef?

Poor, this past Saturday at Capitol Garage for the release of his latest CD, Rayz.

Poor, this past Saturday at Capitol Garage for the release of his latest CD, Rayz.

Photo By nick miller

Blue Lamp

1400 Alhambra
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 455-3400

Starlite Lounge

1517 21st St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 704-0711

Dueling hip-hop:
Does the local hip-hop scene feud? Answer: Dunno. But there were two legit hip-hop CD-release shows this past Saturday, and both drew from the same crowds. Got beef?

Anyway, I stretched myself thin and hit up both shows: Poor’s Rayz release this past Saturday night at Capitol Garage (1500 K Street); and a few blocks east, Blee’s Full Course Meal drop at The Distillery (2107 L Street).

At Cap Garage, Plush Lush, wearing a Neighborhood Watch T-shirt and a Toronto Blue Jays ball cap, opened Poor’s party, DefEye also on the mic and DJ Admant serving up beats and scratch. Plush Lush fired off rhymes while DefEye wrapped the mic cord around his arm and backed him up. The crowd’s energy hit peak during “Word Life,” everyone hopping to Plush’s flow: “I’m like the hip-hop version of Lee Scratch Perry / Got an ear for the classics and the weed sack heavy.”

Notice how hip-hop shows have way better intermission music than rock gigs? Case in point: DJ Kool Kuts busted out “U Can’t Touch This,” Random Abiladeze pantomimed, and the in-between sounds were more entertaining than most local bands’ sets.

C Plus never showed up to perform—trapped in Stockton at Lupe Fiasco?—so the man of the hour, Poor, took the stage next. And Poor has serious flow. He raps with a big smile, his long, braided hair dropping down over his Ferrari-red jacket’s shoulders. And his lyrics come fast, automatic, but still dynamic. “I see the mark of Lucifer on state buildings / I can’t walk past the Capitol without catching a funny feeling” he raps, shuffling back and forth to an organic beat of clankety high-hat taps, deep bass bumps and a cool, dirty organ run. Fellow Tribesmen and Kool Kuts assisted, and the crowd of more than 125 people responded with heart.

Later, over at The Distillery ’round midnight, it was a different vibe: Replace Capitol Garage’s bright, Technicolor décor—complete with Musical Charis band photos by Monkpond—with Distillery’s prime-rib-and-spaghetti, dim mafia-summit ambience. But the scene at the Full Course Meal release too was strong. Local rapper and host Bloe was onstage shooting off to a remix of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy,” rapping under a dim red light, flanked by the likes of Jae Synth and the other man of the hour, Blee, who interjected and emceed the night, sporting white-rim glasses, a knit cap and a letterman’s jacket. The beats, by DJ Flow, were a bit wobblier and glossier than the sounds over at Cap Garage, but this disparity is the only difference between the two scenes: Distillery a bit more cocktail, Garage more conscious.

No feud. No beef. Would’ve been sick to bring both shows under one roof, yeah? (Nick Miller)

Screw car commercials:
Did you read Shaun Slaughter’s dance manifesto last week on Facebook? The deejay posted a very Martin Luther, “State of the Nightclub” rant, which 15 people “liked” and many commented on. The crux of the biscuit: “More & more it feels like people are afraid to get down on stuff they haven’t heard in car commercials & are just plain afraid of dancing without 100 friends around them,” Slaughter wrote.

The dance floor is not a scary place.”

Prove him right at Fuck Fridays this Friday, March 26, at TownHouse Lounge (1517 21st Street; $3 before 11 p.m., $5 after), where the theme is douche bag (or Jersey Shore); or hit up next Tuesday, March 30, at Lipstick at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street; no cover before 10 p.m., $3 after).

As a wallflower, I wouldn’t know if Slaughters’ beef holds water. From the outside, the scene appears strong; there was a half-block-length queue out front of Club 21 (1119 21st Street) last Saturday night for Risqué (, Must.Not.Die., Mike Diamond and My Cousin Vinny’s 18-and-over dance soiree. But who knows if Disneyland lines translate to people coming unhinged to—speaking of car commercials—“1901” remixes. Maybe I’ll send an intern. (N.M.)

Genius raps:
Did you know rapper Chino XL is a member of Mensa? And a bodybuilder? That’s right: He will crush your mind and break your face. Anyway, Chino headlines this Thursday’s Quality night at the Blue Lamp (1400 Alhambra Boulevard, 9 p.m., $10), along with Mahtie Bush, Roc C, Oh No, and DJ Lahn. Rumor mill: I heard this might be the last Quality hip-hop night at Blue Lamp, but I hope not. So attend—or Chino might need to have a word with you. (N.M.)

Emergency show update!:
A last-minute killer gig brought to you by Record Club and Concerts4Charity: Los Angeles indie-psych outfit Dead Meadow, along with Nevada City’s Them Hills and locals Pets, this Monday, March 29, at TownHouse Lounge (9 p.m., $5). Dead Meadow is a three-piece who rocks it in the vein of other bands with topographical monikers, Black Mountain or Pink Mountaintops, except less epic or straightforward than B.M. and not as psychedelic or experimental as P.M. I’d liken it to good old-fashioned ’70s inspired lo-fi jams. Their show on Monday is so fresh it’s not even on their MySpace page, but it’s happening. (N.M.)