Monday, March 3, 2008

cadence weapon @ mercury lounge, 3/2/08

note: born ruffians headlined. don't like 'em, didn't see 'em, have nothing to say about 'em.

poor cadence weapon. the guy puts out two brilliant albums, nearly wins the inaugural polaris prize, and is pitchfork's favorite son, and he still can't buy a break (though i understand he does good business in beats). currently on tour in support of afterparty babies (due out on tuesday), the crowd that received him last night in new york was appreciative, if somewhat confused. i made a fuss about "limp-wristed hipsters" when he opened for final fantasy in november, but seeing him a second time makes me realize how silly that statement was. cadence weapon's whole aesthetic is an attempt to promote a new style of rap, dance-rap, or party-rap, or whatever, and shopping it to effete indie rock fans (for example, the people who were there for born ruffians, the night's headliners), is just not going to be successful.

the crowd last night made a few valiant attempts to show their appreciation for cadence weapon, but my overall feeling was that i'd rather watch him (he's a great performer), than get involved and miss something. he tried time and again, without real success, to encourage people to get dancing, jumping into the crowd and using his body language to goad us into actual movement. personally, however, i like just listening to cadence weapon, not dancing to him. the dude has killer beats and a preposterous flow, but neither brings out the dancer in me. unfortunately, i think he took our lack of dancing as disinterest or dislike, and busted out only a handful of songs, four or five from afterparty babies and three from breaking kayfabe. i really hope he wasn't bummed out because no one was dancing, because i thought his set was fantastic! "real estate" opened, and everything after it was a highlight. hell, there were no highlights because all the songs were great. often i don't grasp a song's whole message when i listen to it by myself (i tend to listen to vocal rhythms and individual words, without focusing on the overarching lyrical message), and hearing cadence weapon in person really gave me new scope on his lyrical abilities. "black hand" and "oliver square" were great, but i would've really loved to have heard "juliann wilding" or more of his new stuff. my favorite song might have been "messages matter." "in search of the youth crew" was solid, and single "house music" closed the set, but where was "limited edition of oj slammer" or "tattoos and what they really feel like"?

"real estate"

afterparty babies comes out tomorrow on anti- records.

"unsuccessful club nights"

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