Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a lazy music review roundup: Smoosh, Tokyo Police Club, Dizzee Rascal and El-P

I am a tired girl from a hot and sunny weekend and a bunch of shows. So you'll get short and lazy reviews of the four acts I saw on Sunday and Monday.

These girls are growing up. Now 16 and 14, sisters Aysa and Chloe are already seasoned performers having started out four years ago under tutelage of Jason McGerr, the drummer for Death Cab for Cutie. The two sisters have that young teen coltish look -- check the forelock on one and and the pony tail on the other -- although lead singer Aysa is showing she has what it takes to hold on to the stage a few more years now that the age novelty has worn off. Smoosh offers straight up pop rock with some legs, particularly for a certain market segment. (Look out, Miley Cyrus.)

Smoosh @ Neumos 5.18.08
Demographics: A novelty sighting at Neumos: uncomfortable-looking parent- pairs. I'm guessing they were probably parents of the girls' friends, and were accompanying their own daughters to the concert in the big bad city. (Smoosh is from Seattle.) There were not enough of these oldsters to increase the average age however, which appeared to be around 19 years old. Those skewing older (and not parent-types) were there for the headliner, Tokyo Police Club.

Tokyo Police Club
Fun band with tasty pop punk tunes. They are on the last half of a death march of a touring schedule that runs through mid-June, followed by a few festival dates thereafter. Despite their if-it-Sunday-this-must-be-Seattle schedule, they sounded fresh and put themselves out there for the set.

Demographics: average age 24, half boys, half girls. Wearing clothes appropriate for campus walking and grocery store shopping.

Tokyo Police Club @ Neumos 5.18.08

Hip Hop: Dizzee Rascal and El-P
I don't usually go to hip hop shows, but I wanted to catch the classic stylings of Dizzie Rascal. He didn't disappoint. He has kept his sound fresh but wasn't afraid to do a little "old school" shit about 2/3 of his way through the set. Good show. He knows how to engage with the audience and didn't rely on a the ubiquitous call-and-response thing that every other rapper brings out of their bag of performance tricks when they want to energize the crowd.

El-P was something of a disappointment after Dizzee Rascal. His DJ is great, but El-P's tracks all started to sound the same to me after the first four or so. I'm not an uber fan of hip hop, so maybe the problem is more with me than with him because I just don't know enough to hear differences that perhaps a more knowledgeable listener would pick up on. Oh well, I gave it a try.

Demographics: Another all ages show. 90% boys with an average age of about 20. Some girls and some people over 25, particularly for Dizzee Rascal's set.

dizzie rascal @ neumos 5.19.08

I had a heck of a time getting any pictures worth saving at Monday's hip hop show. Those dudes paced, raced, jumped, lunged, danced, and everything BUT stand still long enough for a picture without flash. Will someone please remind me of this experience the next time I am tempted to raise my hand when the call goes out to shoot at a hip hop show? I am not very pleased with this weeks results. Or maybe I should get right back on that horse and ride it again...

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