Boos & review

Portland, Oregon’s Minmae at The Press Club on Monday night.

Portland, Oregon’s Minmae at The Press Club on Monday night.

Photo By Shoka

Advice: You know what the problem is with putting your friends on the bill of all your shows? Here’s the problem: Your friends aren’t talented. They might be cool, they might adjust your beer goggles when they’re smudgy, they might get your back when you’re accosted by Guidos in Bedazzled shirts at Whiskey Wild … but the odds that both you and your friends are talented are slim to none. It’s like in grade school when your teacher said, “Look at the person to your left. Now look at the person to your right … OK, one of you fuckers is retarded.” Or wait, did they even say that? I don’t think they did. The point is, just because your friends are nice doesn’t mean you have to make us sit through their sloppy music. And this isn’t just for rappers; this happens with all types of music. But who are we trying to kid? It happens with mostly rappers. I hate to say it, but we learned to rhyme when we were like 2, so that’s not a problem. Joe Blow from Assgasket, Tennessee, can formulate 16 bars. The problems come when you’re forced to say something smart. Not everyone can do that, which is why even the rappers we love to hate (50 Cent, T.I. and, gasp, Weezy) have brains in their skulls. That’s why they’re making money and you’re still falling off The Press Club stage looking for your stylish glasses with no glass in them. Seriously, next time you have a meeting with your crew (or whatever the hell you call yourselves), look to your left, look to your right, search for truth within yourself and then cut the fat. Even if the fat is you, cut it. (Josh Fernandez)

New music: So an automotive engineer from Detroit walks into a studio … no, seriously, he did. Finale, a Detroit native who quit working in the automotive industry to make music, released his debut album A Pipe Dream and a Promise, which begins with a drum roll, bells and whistles—a lot of them; it sounds like the CD is going to be a mix of some Brazilian disco music. But that party quickly ends and makes way for a maddeningly strange guitar sample and Finale’s flow, which sounds like Rakim chewed up 50 Cent and shit out Eminem. His flow conveys strength but with the nimble agility of a sprinter; the dude can rap. While some tracks (“Style”) come off as a bit uninspired—forgettable beats, obvious hooks (“my style!”)—and leave you scrambling for the fast-forward button, songs like “Pay Attention”—with a funky guitar loop and Finale’s cool-as-ice wordplay—make up for any fouls along the way. In fact, it’s the production, handled by an all-star team (J Dilla, Black Milk, Flying Lotus, Notzz, Oddisee) that ultimately helps this disc stand out. Throughout the album, there’s tons of varied and interesting tempo and style change: rock, jazz, hardcore, introspective and moody. The horns and synth on “The Waiting Game” are wildly interesting, and there’s so much momentum on “One Man Show” that it sounds like Finale’s rapping while running downhill. And “Issues,” with a beat so comforting and flow so nice, it just might be the answer to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?”

The smart utilization of a deejay and well-thought melodies throughout A Pipe Dream and a Promise conjure up fond memories of the Juice Crew and the whole boom-bap era. And given the right beat, Finale, with agility and force, just might use his sledgehammer of a voice to bash a new hole in this glitzy-ass house that Weezy built. (J.F.)