Can't believe this year is almost a wrap. Slowed down to the minutiae of people's every unbidden thought on Twitter, it almost seems a lifetime ago that we started 2010. Try to think back on it before you move on to the next one. Maybe in some plush environs. You hear that Vito's is all refurbished? Haven't made the trek over yet to peep it, but I want to on December 18 to check out the Heartfelts, the combo of Air 2 a Bird's Amos Miller, Jahon Mikal (formerly known as I.Am.A.Dot, often known as Vitamin D's brother), and Canary Sing's Hollis Wong-Wear, who are ricking a residency at the First Hill lounge. This project shows great promise.
Also similarly filled: kids. Help the Boys & Girls Club fulfill that promise by supporting For the Love of Music, a compilation put out by Maziga and Tendai Maraire, featuring joints from Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Mad Rad, Macklemore, Fresh Espresso, Champagne Champagne, Mash Hall, Parker, the Stay Hi Brothers, and more; all proceeds go to the B&G Club. The release party happens December 21 at Neumos, featuring appearances from just about everybody appearing on the comp.
On December 22, CD-raised R&B songbird JusMoni celebrates the release of her short but satisfying debut, Ready for Life, with an all-ages throwdown at Chop Suey featuring her, Rocky Rivera from the Bay, a welcome reappearance from the away-at-school Brothers from Another, and DJ extraordinaire WD4D, plus Canary Sing's Madlines tha Lioness hosting. Ready drips with slow-burn sensuality and a soulful sensitivity; Moni's clear, sun-tea-sweet voice shines through ace production from Kuddie Fresh (who produced most of the album), Crispy, KD Cutz, and Cloud Nice maestro Tay Sean. Guest shots from Lace Cadence, the Good Sin, and Khingz all win, but Moni holds her own admirably, perhaps best on album closer "I Need You," a beautiful, reverently half-spoken ode to her infant son.
Speaking of Khingz, he recently let slip a free EP called Khake & Khool-Aid, a super-solid holdover collection of post–From Slaveships to Spaceships odds and ends. On the appropriately watery, Sam Judah–laced "SeaCity," the young vet flings bars just as adroitly as anywhere on Spaceships (or even on Hi-Life Soundsystem's discofied single "Death of the Party") with slick game: "No red lights like Crip-controlled traffic," "Life's kinda funny, sleep is your cousin laughing," and the game-winner "She make me feel flesh again like David Lo Pan." (Kurt Russell FTW?) The woozy, blunted warmth (and sharply cut-in choruses) of the following track, the Jus D'Amato–produced "That Rap Song," makes me wish they had managed to do a whole project together, as it's one of both men's best moments. Which reminds me that Khingz and town master Vitamin D have apparently finished a full-length collaboration (Khingz, that is—Khalil Crisis's 2001 debut album, La Vida Negra, was done mostly by Vita as well). Till then, or the Hi-Life album, get that Khake at khingz.bandcamp.com... and you're welcome.