CSS w/ Yo Majesty and Busdriver – [Live]

Thursday, 14 June 2007

For a split second there I wasn’t so sure what was going to happen. A sold-out Sunday night show in Hollywood seemed to be an unlikely thing, as the world (yes, L.A. included) had been swept by the Tonys: the musical variety, the tear-drop shot from King James kind, and the revered/reviled did-he-or-did-he-not-get-whacked assortment. A triple bill of make-you-sweat hip-hop, make-you-think hip-hop and Euro trash meets discothèque rock were all poised to overshadow all. Judging by the hundreds that piled on early to witness, the case had already been made. But for it was to be, I stood outside waiting, pondering what was happening inside. Mere minutes had gone by but like a slap in the face by a Tibetan monk, the dream had become a reality and with everything a-okay, I had whisked myself away to a prime spot.

In an instant, the whole night started off with a nightmare as early technical difficulties hit the three holla-back girls from Yo Majesty. The power of the crunk beat would not be defeated. Prevailing in the end, the trio turned the much-heralded Henry Fonda Theatre into a dripping wet, Southern-style push-it party. Lasting images of kryptonite “hoo has” began to flutter within everyone’s consciousness.

Things got downright surreal once hometown boy Busdriver manifested upon the makings of the stage, party hat and all. It may or may not have been his birthday, but it might as well have been, as the rapper who says the darndest things eviscerated multiple rhyming couplets within a quick insta-breath. It’s the prime-cut tracks off his latest release RoadKillOvercoat that stuck. The psychobabble let loose was a spray of consciousness as both “Casting Agents and Cowgirls” and “Kill Your Employer (Recreational Paranoia Is The Sport of Now)” collectively made the audience move and groove, but more importantly, the rapper exuded a complete ownership of the stage which only grew further once he was joined by 2Mex, a fellow LA. underground rapper like himself. The two so firmly associated within the roots of L.A. underground rap slayed the crowded venue of a quote unquote, “hipster rock show.”

Slay would not be the most apt word to best describe a CSS live show. It was more like euphoria. Don’t take it from me, but rather the group’s lovely and foxy lead singer, Lovefoxxx, who remarked without hesitation that the show was the band’s best ever. Her quick assessment may have proven to be right based on the many balloons that filled the stage, a quick question and answer session of “What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?” multiple hand-clap interludes (I counted a good four), and what I have so ironically dubbed the “hipster wave.” Though none could compare to the Donna Summer-esque getup that Ms. Lovefoxxx was wearing that only helped to propel her and her Brazilian buddies through their many hits. Tracks like “Alala” got tiny makeovers but still had that beating pulse which only energized the crowd further. And though she may have been backstage had she not been incarcerated, Paris Hilton would feel rest assured knowing that “Meeting Paris Hilton” was played with a fervor that she would deem “hot.”

Someone who was backstage, however, was L7 founding member Donita Sparks, who joined the band for a spirited rendition of the grunge classic “Pretend We’re Dead.” Both Lovefoxx and Sparks made for a great one-two punch almost as if a passing of the torch was happening before our very eyes. By the time the sick bassline of “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above,” emanated forth, pupils were in full dilation and cabin pressure had been fully breeched. Just sheer unadulterated bliss. Tonight was a sexy dream worth reliving.

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CSS – Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above (MP3)

CSS – Alala (MP3)

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