Tonight: B L A C K I E, Cities Aviv, & Fat Tony at Notsuoh (for Free!)
The headliner, Cities Aviv, is the one I’m least familiar with, but what I have heard from the guy so far has been pretty cool. It’s hip-hop, to be sure, but quirky as hell, with sounds influenced less by the usual soul/funk/R&B touchstones and more by moody, hazy electronic stuff; it’s like rap set to a track of chopped-up Tangerine Dream songs, I swear. There’s some resemblance to cLOUDDEAD, but Cities Aviv is less cerebral and navel-gazing than that — what I think of most when I hear new album Come To Life is Mike Ladd’s Welcome To The Afterfuture, and to me, at least, that’s praise.
Much more familiar — at least in terms of “I’ve seen him a bunch of times,” not “I totally understand what he’s doing” — is H-town’s own B L A C K I E, a guy who’s honestly done a lot to put Houston music on the map nationally, whether you realize it or not. He’s so goddamn weird it was just about inevitable his sound would leak out and infect the populace at large, and happily, it’s done just that, so much so that people who sound an awful lot like B L A C K I E used to back in the mid-to-late 2000s (see Wilderness of North America) have been popping up elsewhere lately.
For his part, the guy hasn’t sat still. He shifts and mutates with every freaking release, so much so that getting hold of a new album is like hearing a whole new thing. Seriously; check out 2012’s strummy, acoustified (but still angry) GEN and then listen to this year’s noisy, John Zorn-esque, No-Wave-sounding Imagine Yourself In A Free And Natural World, and you’d be forgiven for thinking they were made by two different people. On the positive side, B L A C K I E is fucking magic whatever he does, so jump in anywhere.
And then there’s also-great Houston/NYC rapper and beatmaker Fat Tony, who sadly won’t be doing any actual rapping tonight but will be doing a DJ set prior to the aforementioned two performers. DJing or not, though, Tony is good people, and he’s got damn good taste; show up early, alright? Oh, and this whole thing is free, which means you have literally no reason to not go.