On Friday, I walked into Vermilion after work, ordered a glass of white wine from Brian, and chanced to catch a set of a punk band called Slow Elk. The set was fast and furious and brassy. Three of the musicians played horns—trumpet, trombone, sax. Though the drummer and guitarist thrashed like there was no tomorrow, the horns were more composed and even orchestral. So, on one side, you had punk minimalism (the bare bones of rock); and the other, the bold and full sound of a big band. And all of it came together quite nicely. As soon as the set was done, Slow Elk packed their equipment and left. Brian served me another glass of wine.
On Saturday, I did not hear any new music. But I did finish the Dr. Dre/Jimmy Iovine doc The Defiant Ones, which ends with a thing about Kendrick Lamar's deep admiration of Dr. Dre. The young Lamar saw Dre during a video shoot in LA. He was in the hood with Snoop Dog. "I knew who he was," says Lamar, "But he didn't know who I was." The first part of the three-part doc is by far the best.
On Sunday, I walked from the best train station (design wise) on the Link line, University of Washington Station, to Flowers Bar & Restaurant on the Ave. Once at the bar, I ordered a glass of white wine and prepared to read the second chapter of Louis Althusser's classic Reading Capital. But before I completed a paragraph, I noticed the music. It was a catchy hiphop cut with a bouncy beat and a robotic bass. The rapper's mood and mode was completely new to my ears. Who was she?
I was informed by the friendly bartender that it was DoNormaal, a local rapper who has a new album called Third Daughter. Sean Nelson wrote about her here. The track that caught my attention was "Gold Rooster." I put my book away and spent the next hour listening to the album, which has 19 tracks. When I left Flowers, the sun was setting behind the site for the link station that will open in 2021.