Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Aesop Rock is a pretty good rapper, even if I don't really like his whole idosyncratic delivery/swallowed locution steez. Mr. Lif is a great rapper, enunciating perfectly right on top of beats, equally adept and party-rocking, narrative rap, and super-scientifical weirdness. Both are good performers, never staying still, never stepping on each other's lines, tossing out rehearsed between-song banter like old pros. But holy jesus their show bored me. A lot of it was the crowd, goateed meatheads claustrophobically packed into the Ottobar, parroting back every word Aesop said, getting crunk to this shit like it was "Ante Up" or some shit. Some of it was the openers - Hanger 18 and some dude from SA Smash, just ass. I'm sure that more than a little bit of it was the long-ass Monday I'd just had, working eight hours and then coming home to write reviews for another two. But mostly, I think I was bored because there was nothing at stake. In the past couple of months, I saw Sage Francis, who I don't really like, and Atmosphere, who I do (check the Seattle Weekly today!), and both of them treated the show like it was something important, a vehicle for something powerful, speaking to kids like something depended on these kids hearing them. Aesop and Lif treated it as just another show: no serious moments, no energy crackling between them, no force or urgency. I left early.