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Fucking in the Streets

Fifteen More Minutes of Mad Rad

Fucking in the Streets

Kristen Blush

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I only caught a handful of songs of Mad Rad's return to Neumos last Thursday night, but it was enough to answer some of the questions voiced in this column last week. First of all, of course it's unfair to compare Mad Rad to Shabazz Palaces—that was never really the point of that column. The point is simply that, in the wake of Shabazz's debut, all the so-called third wave Seattle hiphop acts are going to have to step their games up in a major way. And, love 'em or hate 'em, Mad Rad really do look set to step things up mightily in 2010.

The show was sold-out by 9:30 p.m. (although—and last comparison here, for real—unlike Shabazz's sold-out show two weeks ago, this one was free), and folks outside said they'd seen multiple people begging and even attempting to bribe Neumos security to be let in. Inside, it was packed but not uncomfortably so; the crowd was composed not of familiar faces but rather a lot of potential new fans. There really was a triumphantly celebratory vibe in the air.

"My Product"—maybe the best track of the band's debut, White Gold, a big, thumping stupid-fun electro banger—sounded massive on the Neumos sound system, the whole crowd pogoing and clapping along, the floor bending under the weight. Concerning the line in my last column that "ring-tone-thin synths and freshman-grade party raps just aren't going to cut it," let's be clear: P Smoov's productions are super solid, and the guys' admittedly goofy party rapping is at a senior-year (or highly motivated drop-out) level.

And the little bit of new material I heard bodes well for the band's future. The band's contribution to the recent GIVE charity compilation, "Love in a Strange World," sounded almost like a Depeche Mode study, Buffalo singing/screaming morosely (and climbing a ladder for some of the song), Terry Radjaw rapping aggressively, P Smoov playing a buzzing synth lead and singing robotically via a glassy vocoder. DJ Darwin was, as always, grinning and hyping the crowd and hamming it up with the other members. The guys all look like they're having such a good time up there that it's hard not to love the show. They did what I think was another new song, with Buffalo again screaming over a double-time, scraping drumbeat and some dour minor chords, culminating with a chant of "Fuck you/That's how we do." They pulled Rik Rude out for a rousing rendition of the Fresh Espresso song "Lazerbeams," Rik getting the crowd chanting "Out for stardom," P Smoov back on that vocoder. (At some point around here, beer started getting thrown around in the crowd.) They did a slow jam about "when the lights go out" (a P Smoov solo number, I think), sounding a little Boyz II Men about it (although their introduction to the song was rather more 2 Live Crew), like a real stab at a pop group.

I had to split after that, but that's fine. I'd come to this show with one question on my mind: Are Mad Rad ready to elevate shit in 2010? Tonight, it sure as hell looked like it. recommended

 

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1
jesus fucking christ, someone fucking fire this guy before he embarrasses our entire city by promoting the idea that this shit is actually something people here are interested in.
Posted by the stranger's music dept. sucks on January 27, 2010 at 2:59 PM · Report this
2
just everyone stop commenting. no more comments for mad rad or grandy. it feeds them. they dont really care about "our entire city". just promoting themselves.

so small town.
Posted by NO MORE COMMENTS on January 29, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
3
greasyslugtrails.com
Posted by greasy slug trails on January 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM · Report this
person159 4
i'm not much of a grandy fan, but @1, how is this not reporting on "something people here are interested in"? this local group filled neumos on a weeknight.
Posted by person159 on February 2, 2010 at 5:54 PM · Report this
5
I saw these guys six months ago and they grossed me out. No love for them. "Stupid-fun" without the fun.
Posted by KJcaphill on February 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this

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