Sh*t I Slept On

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 11, 2009 11:15pm | Post a Comment
People tell me I have good taste in music. I have to disagree with them. It’s not that I’m humble, because I’m not, it’s that I’m a natural-born skeptic and my cynicism gets the best of me, especially with music. Most people can like a band, song or album instantly. I have to scrutinize it until I see everything that is wrong with music before I see what is right. This is especially true when I see an artist perform live without knowing anything about them. Without having the knowledge of an artist’s music beforehand, I’ve denounced many artists that later on I've found myself loving. Here are a few of my worst blunders, in no order.

Latryx @ The House Of Blues (1996)

I went to check out DJ Shadow, who was opening for Jeru The Damaja & De La Soul. When the curtains opened, Lateef The Truth Speaker & Lyrics Born, otherwise known as Latrx, came out, rapping simultaneously with two different rhymes. I thought, “What is this weak shit?’ The truth was I just wanted Shadow to do his Endtroducing jams and I wasn’t in the mood to hear anything new. I remember some kid in the audience scolding the L.A. crowd after their lackadaisical response to the group’s performance. “Yo kids, ya’ll sleeping on them!” A year later I couldn’t put the Latyx CD down, as well as the Blackalicous e.p. I guess I was sleeping.

Bikini Kill
@ Jabberjaw (1992)

L.A. was the home of The Runaways, The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, L7 and Hole. Frightwig, The Mudwimin, and Tribe 8, and Spitboy from The Bay area played in Los Angeles years before the arrival of the Riot Girl movement. So what was the big deal about Bikini Kill? Most people at the show were there to antagonize them for their outspokenness. We also had to suffer through one of the worst opening bands in the history of music, a short-lived band called Pussy Willow, who droned and wailed for more than an hour. The show was just a back and forth with the audience, who tried hard to break the spirit of the group. The show ended with the band exhausted and in tears. It was like seeing the Sex Pistols in Texas on their first tour. Since I really didn’t know their music at the time, I lost out on Bikini Kill's barrage of Black Flag licks with Exene meets Poly Styrene vocals. To top it off, the band wrote best punk songs to come out of the 90’ retrospect, of course.

Helios Creed
@ Raji’s (1990)

Here was another, “you are the opening group and I don’t know you” situation. I had no idea who Helios Creed was, nor that he was once half of the band Chrome. I went to see Nomeansno, a band I could care less about now. I think I waited at the bar and missed ninety percent of Helios' set. What was worse is that that was the line-up that had Rey Washam on drums, who played with (among others) Scratch Acid, Rapeman, Ministry, The Big Boys, The Didjits, Lard, and Tad. Yes, one hell of a drummer. Now I can list Chrome as one of my biggest influences, but back then, I had my head up my ass.

Freestyle Fellowship @ The Roxy (1992)

This one is real embarrassing because I write so much about them and their influence on Hip-Hop. But back in 92, they were the opening group for-- get this-- The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy! I went to the show because this Hip-Hop hating girl I was dating liked them because they were, “intelligent,” unlike the Rap that I loved so well. I think she thought she was doing me a favor, exposing me to Michael Franti, who was and still is the poster child for the overly conscious, overly educated, privalaged people of America. Of course, their audience did not get Freestyle Fellowship, but neither did I! I felt so awkward in the audience of college rockers, all I could think about was leaving. I really didn’t pay attention to Freestyle Fellowship’s ability to flow their asses off. In fact, I didn’t even know what freestyling was! Aceyalone, Mikah 9, Jupiter 9 and P.E.A.CE. traded verses like jazz musicians traded solos. In retrospect it was the equivalent of a lyrical Bird, Dizzy, Roach and Monk jamming on stage. After the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy set, the Fellowship gang got back on stage to freestyle, but the entire audience, seeing that Franti wasn’t coming back on stage, just left. A few months later I got a cassette of Inner City Griots and I was hooked. It’s easily in my top 10 favorite Hip-Hop albums of all time. I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve even seen a Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy CD. Clearance bin perhaps?

Notorious B.I.G.
@ The L.A. Sports Arena (1995)

It wasn’t that I didn’t like Biggie; it was more that I went to the show to see The Wu-Tang Clan. It was a radio show (92.3 The Beat, back then) and the bill was Biggie, Ice Cube, Coolio, The Wu Tang Clan, and various other rappers. After the Wu Tang and Ice Cube sets, a huge fight broke out on the Sport Arena floor. Ice-T, who was the MC for the night, tried to calm everyone down but the fights continued. I got fed up and started to walk towards the exit. At that point, the group of people that got kicked out of the venue for fighting started blasting in the parking lot, people started running back into the Sports Arena for fear of getting shot. I then went back to my seat. Coolio tried to do a set before LAPD got involved and shut down the show yet again. I was going to wait it out for Biggie but I saw the riot squad arrive and I started to think that maybe it would be best if I left. I never found out if Biggie performed that night or if they ended the show then and there. To tell you the truth, I don’t want to know if he did. I rationalize my decision to leave with the thought that I witnessed The Wu Tang kill it on stage that night and I that I saw Cube play all of his hits. Yet, once again, I listen to Biggie more now than I do Cube or Wu Tang. 

Relevant Tags

Latryx (4), Bikini Kill (2), Helios Creed (1), Freestyle Fellowship (6), Notorious B.i.g. (7)