Kool Keith, Mike Relm, Crown City Rockers at the Mezzanine
February 28, 2009
Written by Jake Butler
Noise Pop has a focus on the indie rock slant of things, but if whoever was smart enough to book Mike Relm and Kool Keith as co-headliners for Thursday night was a genius.
Its important to make the distinction between DJing and turntablism.Â Both are art forms in their own right, but actually quite different.Â Turntablism in its simplest form is scratching while DJing is more about song selection (think of turntablism as a component of DJing).Â This night featured master’s of both, and live music to boot.
I made it in time to catch Crown City Rockers set.Â 2 MCs + bass/keys/drums=1 hell of a good time.Â I wanted to be at a block party on a hot summer day with these guys providing the live soundtrack.Â They’ve got a little bit of a throwback hip hop sound and they really know how to groove.Â Their keys player had some sweet chops and their a capella flows were rapid fire.
After Treasure Island, I was really looking forward to Mike Relm. He’s got masterful turntable skillz, scratching in his trademark suit/skinny tie combo, emitting an easiness in his aura.Â Relm is stretching the traditional role of DJ but bringing in his video mashups which are insanely awesome.
When he brought out his signature track “O Face”, pulled from Mike Judge’s Office Space, I dropped what I was doing and made a b-line for the dance floor.Â The whole thing is a new experience and many were unsure how to respond.Â The beats make you shake your feet, but the images make you want to watch the screen.Â It’s almost as if your lower body is running wild while your head is stationary.Â Regardless of how you manage all your sensory intake, Relm is que flippin’ ridiculo.
His set included everything from Biz Markie to Daft Punk to Tron to Flight of the Conchords to Justice to When Harry Met Sally to…you get the point.Â If you’re a pop culture afficionado in any sense of the term, you owe it to yourself to see Mike Relm.
To wrap up the set Kool Keith took his turn at the 1′s & 2′s, this time under the moniker Dr. Octagon vs. Dr. Dooom.Â Limiting himself to just two personalities was bold in my mind, as he can take you from generation to generation, genre to genre, and keep it all unified with his funky fingers.
Actually, to correct myself, this evening he was performing as the Funky Redneck, despite what the billing may have said.Â K-squared, as I like to call him, put on a clinic for any young DJs out there.Â I just wish more people were getting down and dancing, because what else is expected of you when you come to see a spin-meister like Kool Keith?
I was so caught up in the music that I almost forgot to close out my tab at the end of the night.
Favorite Moment: Mike Relm mashing up Abigail Breslin’s dance performance in Little Miss Sunshine with Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”, and throwing in side comments about how he realizes how inappropriate this is.