If you hate the whole trend of black people being musically weird and soulful in ways you can't immediately commercialize and ruin, you shoulda been on your guard some four years ago, so you could've thrown salt on the rise of LA's genius electro-funk-soul duo J*Davey. When their song "Mr. Mister" hit the blogs, etc., while some were singing "Umbrella" into their hairbrushes, a whole bunch of folks in need stood up and listened, and have been ever since. At least as much as they could, as Jack Davey (gal) and Brook D'Leau (guy) navigated their own major-label snake pit. From their ill EPs The Beauty in Distortion and The Land of the Lost to the Great Mistapes they've dropped in the last couple years, the J-to-the-asterisk got much heat. Early adopters and the ever-present pretendos (who cares, though, really) will surely be packing Nectar out on Thursday, April 14, to the duo with Malice & Mario Sweet, sweet Shaprece, and dj100proof. Lovely.
Watching D.Black in Austin a few weeks ago reminded me what a powerful, tireless performer the Sportn' Life Records anchor is—not just his dynamic movement, but that certain compelling directness he wields. His clarity and delivery on and off the stage just cuts through more than the usual narratives, having converted witnesses from here to NYC and back.
"Curtain Call," Black's final headlining show (you'll notice he's no longer retiring—is he coming back in some different incarnation perhaps?) is going down at Chop Suey on Saturday, April 16. Standing in solidarity will be Candidt's immaculate chop, the electric soul-bounce of SnL's own Fly Moon Royalty, the truthful testimony of the town's very favorite young songbird/poet/MC/mom on the hustle, JusMoni, and yours truly on host. Come through and shake it off.
Yo, but check your calendar real quick. Why? Because on Sunday, April 17, we gotta hit up Nectar to commemorate some real old shit—namely, the release of Adventures in a Helluvastate, the album from Thadwick Tristen Trevor III and Swan Coltrane, aka Helluvastate, aka TH from State of the Artist and Tay Sean from Cloud Nice/Helladope, aka two of the very most illest voices and perspectives on this Seattle city block. Supergroups almost never live up to their on-paper promise—but these two do no less than. Both entities—arguably the illest assets of their respective crews—glow all the brighter in each other's proximity, Sankara Stone–style (nerdy reference, what). Young/old soul Tay Sean has audibly matured in the booth and on the beats (check the wonderfully warm production, all blunted-beautiful), and TH makes damned sure you smell his cologne, as he swags and drags on the ooh-wee.
Both men drop gamely coded relevance all over Adventures, elevating it from the chaff (always in ready supply). If you don't download this album at www.helluvastate .bandcamp.com, you are deeply off your job. Remedy the situation immediately and hit that show with BAYB, the Good Sin + 10.4 Rog, Sax G Whiz, and DJ Swervewon. See you in there.