Eight Gigs: Lyrics Born

Fri., Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m., $25

UC Davis alum Lyrics Born (real name Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura) hung around the school's KDVS radio station at the same time as Blackalicious, DJ Shadow and Lateef the Truthspeaker (with whom he'd form the duo Latyrx). The crew founded Solesides Records in the early '90s which morphed into Quannum Projects in 1999. Lyrics Born, who once dubbed himself Asia Born, has a unique sound. Check out singles like “Callin Out,” and “Do That There” for an unlikely blend of crazy-fast rhymes blended with laid-back funk grooves. It all makes for what jazz buffs might call “relaxed intensity,” but it certainly works in hip-hop, too. 325 Spring Street in Nevada City, www.lyricsborn.com.