There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Every heavy-headed indie MC should be confronted with one simple question: Can you get loose? It’s the perfect ambush, because it sidesteps a more obvious and potentially ponderous debate about whether the music is actually fun. “Gettin’ loose,” on the other hand, can happen even when shit is dead serious. Consider Vulture Voltaire, the lead rapper for Silver Spring’s Food for Animals: He’s tall, white, and grizzly-bearded—and when he hollers his rhymes, the max-volume verbiage somehow sounds both intellectually thorough and completely out-the-lizard-brain. Here’s how he gets loose: “I’m sick of escapists/Fake B.I.G.s/Sound exactly like rapists/Let me break it down/If I lost a finger for every fake thug/I’d start poppin’ out eyes with my stub,” V-Volt says on “Cut and Paste,” one of the cornerstone songs of the 2004 fried-laptop-funk disc Scavengers. Of course, the group’s glitchy grooves are the first thing you notice, because tech jockey Ricky Rabbit knows exactly how much noise is too much noise. Restraint is a relative concept for members of Paper Rad, a pop-culture-conscious arts collective that has ties to the Providence, R.I., noise-rock duo Lightning Bolt, as well as other bands and artists associated with the Rhode Island School of Design scene. It’s impossible to say what might surface in the group’s roadshow, but if the visuals on paperrad.org are any indication, expect lots of 8-bit electro and fluorescent colors, served with mind-scrambling intensity as well as good humor. The trip commences when Food for Animals performs with Paper Rad and Hott Beat at 8:30 p.m. at the Warehouse Next Door, 1017 7th St. NW. $7. (202) 783-3933. (Joe Warminsky)