Check out these transitions, bro: There’s a great video of Toby Keith on TMZ.com that shows the singer getting heckled by an inebriated fan and, like a true cowboy, Mr. Keith keeps on singing. But as the video progresses, the heckler becomes more obnoxious and, as Keith becomes more agitated, you can see him thinking to himself: “What would a true, inbred yokel do?”
The video shows him clearly weighing options during a choppy rendition of “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action,” and he finally comes to a decision and eventually does the right thing: He steps off the stage, finds the heckling dickwad and then whoops his ass.
When he gets back on stage, the band is still jamming and he says, “Sorry, I’ve never acted like that before, but he’s a punk-ass motherfucker.”
I’ve always liked Keith, not so much for his music, but because he’s passionate and burly, like a streetwise Fabio or a hillbilly Tupac. He has both underground cred and mass appeal—the best of both worlds.
Speaking of best of both worlds, Sacramento native Jason Mackenroth, former drummer for the Rollins Band, is going on tour with the Blue Man Group, which you should just think about for a few minutes and digest. The truth is, I don’t know what that says about the state of punk-rock music. I don’t even know what it says about the state of blue men.
It’s just confusing.
But speaking of blue, last Thursday night at one of the city’s most underrated clubs, the Blue Lamp, Mahtie Bush held another installment of Beats & Poetry. The event was modestly attended but the vibe just happened to be right. The evening was kicked off by an energetic performance from 2-4-1; J-Freeze rapped like an auctioneer on speed, and then Major League Spitters took to the stage with a real short but solid performance. The highlight of the evening, though, was Mic Jordan, who was feeling ready to rock a crowd. And that he did. Jordan stepped on the stage with a certain ferocity, not just evident by his maniacal laughter, but also by the way the words shot from his mouth like a can of pepper spray.
Bush headlined the show and had the crowd in stitches with his punch lines and sunny demeanor. He proceeded to jump off the stage, Toby Keith-style, but instead of kicking someone’s ass, he showed off some truly excellent b-boy skills. Like wandering through an enchanted forest, watching a chubby dude breakdance is magical.
At the show’s end, a raucous freestyle cipher erupted with Bush, Jordan, Bru Lei and a wild dancehall guy. He looked like a mix of Mad Lion and that guy who hangs out under the freeway and talks to himself. (Someone, please e-mail me with his name, because he was really fun to watch.)
And speaking of Bru Lei (www.myspace.com/brulei), the Sacramentan turned Columbian (OK: Columbus, Ohio), just sent some press copies of his new CD, Shroom Crumbs, out on Public School Records (www.psrecords.com). Damn, it’s really good.
Not that I doubted him, but I’ve seen his performance a few times, and the guy seemed a little out of it. The CD, produced by DJ Przm, has a real MF Doom feel, but a little bit more upbeat. There’s some definite moodiness to the production and Lei’s flows are varied and interesting. Especially on “574,” in which the emcee raps about the benefits and joys derived from his New Balance sneakers. On “Jean Grae” he rhymes about the benefits and joys derived from having a crush on Jean Grae. A real highlight is the song “Bad Reviews” where Przm takes the Jerry Butler “Mechanical Man” sample made even more famous by RZA on Method Man‘s “Bring the Pain” and stretches it out just a bit to keep the flavor and the momentum of the original. Brilliant.
If you like jazzy melodies with hypothetical, subversive lyrics and thoughtful delivery offered by an emcee who enjoys the shit out of hallucinogenic drugs, this CD just might move you.
And speaking of move, this all begs the question: Why would someone move from Sacramento back to Columbus? Is it that fucking bad here?
One more question: If your band name is just your birth name plus the word “Project” (like the Toby Keith Project), does that make your band more intellectual and, therefore, more viable? The answer: yes. (Josh Fernandez)