Fat shout-out to the good folks over at Washington Bus, who may have recently lost a little Twitter contest to my crew They Live! but are nonetheless dope for getting politically minded young folk active and cracking at those halls of power. The Bus is throwing a concert/party/pro-environment event on January 14 at the Vera Project called Parliament. It features Rockwell Powers and 10th & Commerce (who look to have new stuff on deck), State of the Artist, and Brothers from Another, plus free Cupcake Royale cupcakes for the fatties (right here).
Spaceman is headlining a show at Chop Suey on January 16 and promises to pull out all stops—expect new joints from him and DJ Suspence's upcoming EP, plus live performances of some of his best collabs from the town. Besides his own fire-starting self, expect big t'ings from big dogs Fresh Espresso, Helladope, and local Top 40–minded R&B-hoppers Steelo.
Binary Star—the name alone holds godly; if you don't know, you better ask somebody—are set to drive your ass out to Nectar to see them on January 17. Really though, a reunited Binary is a big deal, Seattle. Sometimes-Seattle-resident One Be Lo and Senim Silla make a helluva combo—as evinced by the persistent fanboying that goes on for their 2000 debut, Masters of the Universe, to this very day (and I include myself all up in there). If a Binary reunion wasn't enough, you have sets from Massive Monkees, D.Black, Canary Sing, DJ Marc Sense, and your host for the evening, Stahi Bro #1 Vitamin D—all around Seattle representation of the flyest order.
Okay, you might recall me talking a while back about a crew called 96 Pickup—maybe; I can't really speak to your presence of mind, whoadie. Well, I just got ahold of Gravity, the debut album from two of its principals, Def Dee and Language Arts. You might know LA best from his memorable guest verse on my favorite joint off the Physics' must-have '09 EP, High Society, "Back Track": "Before I made 'em all applaud, head-nod, say 'ohmigawd.'" Rest assured, he throws zero dirt on his own rep for the duration of Gravity, where his clear ear for classic flows (he's definitely rapped along to Reasonable Doubt a few times) and sharp rhymes never overstays its welcome, knowing when to press the bars and when to fall back and keep the train on track. Producer Def Dee clearly knows exactly what he's going for, as well: vinyl-cracklin' mid-'90s-style NYC boom-bap, owing a lot to the insomniac vibes of the U.N. or of the master Pete Rock's PeteStrumentals series. "Throwback" it is, but sloppy emulation it's not—Dee's focus on MPC-and-turntable grit feels right and far more vintage-sounding than he has any right to. The beats have some of the album's best moments—there's a gorgeous, shimmering piano-plink instrumental that sounds like your box lazily eating up your favorite mixtape during Prodigy's "Keep It Thoro." You already know if this is something that gets play in your ride—if this kind of sound is you, do the knowledge on these two (hit their MySpace page at /deflanguage) stat. (That means "hella quick" in doctorese.)