Fact: Missing a J*DaVeY show speaks volumes of one's level (or lack) of self-esteem and demonstrates that one has, in a sense, given up on life. Doing so could even point to one's unsuitability as a sex partner. But that's neither here nor there. As for me, there was no way I'd let Miss Jack and Brook D'Leau step onto a stage within a 50-mile radius of Los Angeles and not be front row, witnessing their brand of electrofunk perfection first-hand. This past Sunday, I swayed and rocked with the rest of the DaVeY NaVeY as the duo's New World Culture Tour rolled into West Hollywood's Key Club.
After the bounce
Not wanting to miss Def Sound's stage show, I arrived pretty early. Upon entering, I was welcomed by the luscious sounds of FCC and Tario, the band jamming behind rapper J.Major Way. Toward the end, singer Frei Thursday took the stage to bless the crowd with a few songs. She's got a dope voice and a powerful presence, even though the band's volume prevented me from understanding many of her lyrics. Her set got progressively funkier and I'm now a fan. Standout track: "She's The One."
Next up was drug-friendly rap quartet OSA,
who greeted us with "This is for all my weed smokers. As you can see I gotta blunt in my ear..." before trading verses over a block of
herb-praising stoner tunes. If Dr. Dre can make a career out of
glorifying marijuana over beats, I guess that makes it OK for these
dudes to devote their entire set to doing the same. Somewhere along the
way the cool kids surrounding me saw fit to have a smoking session in
the club. Apparently this happens regularly here.
the most generic, run down rapper ever. Dress him in a dingy black
t-shirt and cornball shoes and pair him with a rhythmically-challenged,
uninterested, and uninteresting hypeman. Imagine the most boring music
composing the most bathroom break-worthy set ever witnessed. That's who
and what came next. Dude's name is unimportant. When he said, "This is
our last song tonight," we actually cheered. Then, P. Shitty dropped the
mic and strolled off stage halfway through his final song. Oh, the
Backed by Brook as his DJ, Def Sound
took the stage looking quite fresh and clean. The flat top-rocking
lyricist launched into a memorable, interactive set starting with "$.Times.Girls." It occurred to me that one difference between the suited Def and the
string of couch surfers before him was his consideration for
presentation. How about not showing up in public looking as if there's a
game of Madden on pause and more relatives to disappoint waiting at
home? He laughed, he chatted with girls, he sat Indian style mid-stage,
he handed out glow sticks, and was joined briefly by hottie Nikko Gray. He entertained.
Though I'd never seen Blu perform live, I first encountered him on "The Day" from The Roots' How I Got Over.
You could almost hear the ovaries being offered up by the end of the
first song. Not long after announcing that he'd be trying out some new
music, the cheers of recognition and rapping in unison transitioned into
respectful, silent head nodding. Though he is gifted, passionate, and
loves his craft, the crowd's enthusiasm waned with each new
experimental track unleashed.
Then came the main course. J*DaVeY opened with their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" cover, with Miss Jack on
guitar and Brook on drums. Draped in a loose-fitting long, white top and
black tights, Jack then went into my favorite track from their new Evil Christian Cop EP, "Quicksand." I likely peed a little. The song's power is amplified tenfold in a live setting. Then came "Crawl All Over" from Boudoir Synema and personal favorite "Whatchalookin@," promised to appear on their upcoming full-length album New Designer Drug.
"Get Together" had the whole joint singing along. Jack picked fans to
join her for the next song, which, because I've seen them far too many
times, I knew was "End Of Your World." Back on Halloween, I sweated my
perm out on a platform with her at their dance party at The
Standard. She said, "Oh, you know you gotta come up here with me"
as she summoned me on stage as well. I complied. We clapped, humped,
laughed, stomped, danced, had an awesome time, then I got kicked off
stage. Later, they stripped down "No More" before drifting into the
closer "Raincheck." Easily one of the most brilliant transitions I've
ever witnessed. Screams were heard. Panties were slipped off and tucked
into purses. It was pure perfection. Euphoric, even. I didn't want it to
But it did. The stoners returned to their couches and the
tour hit the road for a show in Phoenix, Arizona before ending the West
coast leg at SXSW. Check out tour dates at their official site.
[Photo: Hasef Photography]