Yes friends, Reverb is back, and better than ever. Or at least, you know, adequate as ever.
After being immersed in non-stop music at Austin's SXSW festival — and inspired by a great performance down there from Colorado Springs' own ReMINDers — I figured this past weekend would be a good time to catch up on some additional live and local hip-hop.
Turns out it was. Friday night's Union Station showcase doubled as both an album release celebration for Colorado Springs emcee Reflecshaun and as a birthday celebration for local hip-hop kingpin Black Pegasus, who went on around midnight to perform tracks from his forthcoming YMP, which may or may not stand for Yo Momma's Pimp. (OK, it does.)
Black P was joined by the no-less-formidable Liquid Assassin, who ratcheted up the syllables-per-minute with some shared raps that could give Tech N9ne and Twista a run for their money. Anytime you get a chance to see Black P and LA onstage together, definitely do it.
I also caught engaging sets by Pueblo femme-hop duo Magick and Majesstik, Chicano rappers A.D. (After Death) — who I'm pretty sure lifted a vocal melody from Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner," but maybe that was just the $2 shots — and NoN HumaN, whose "Pencil Pusher" was one of the evening's highlights.
Closing out the night was Reflecshaun, who took the show in a more backpack hip-hop direction with an excellent set of material from his debut album, Shards of Glass. Check out his SoundCloud page to hear the standout "Authentic" as well as "This Is Our House," a collaboration with Black P and Honest E.
So, you may well ask, what's next? Well, if it's still Thursday, you can head up to Denver for Hip Hop Night at the D'Note, where Audible and NoFrequency will be representing the Springs on a bill with Breakfast Club, two Southern transplants who refer to themselves as "Hip Hop's Ebony & Ivory." Not making that up.
On Friday, fans of Americana and great songwriting can check out the J. Miller Band's album release show at the Lon Chaney Theatre. (Check out the interview with Jason here.)
Then Saturday, ravers can head up to the 1stBank Center to catch Headhunterz headlining Caffeine Music Festival 2012. There'll be six stages and some 75 deejays, most of whom I've never heard of, but that doesn't mean you haven't.
Or you could just save yourselves something like $70 each by going to see 70 fewer deejays this Saturday at Agents of Sound's free monthly SOUL event, upstairs at Brewer's Republic. That way, you'll still have the discretionary income to hit Denver's Ogden Theatre next Wednesday, April 4, to hear Skream and Benga, U.K. dubstep pioneers who make Skrillex sound like crap. (Which is not to say that he doesn't already.)
Meanwhile, for our hard rock brethren and sistren, this Friday and Saturday mark the return of Sunshine Studios' Live Loud N Local Music Festival. The lineup includes some 30 bands. Go to sunshinestudioslive.com to see if yours is one of them.
And finally, a quick update on El Toro de la Muerte, who serenaded last Thursday's Ivywild Community Project celebration with a set of originals, plus an obligatory cover of Queen's "Under Pressure." The group played from the stage of an old elementary school gymnasium, where word has it KRCC will be sponsoring future concerts. El Toro's Ryan Spradlin tells me the band is currently writing material for a new album, finishing up a split single with the Flumps and Cat Color, and planning an indie-rock showcase at Zodiac, so stay tuned.