Posted in music | pictures on April 20, 2012

photos by Ed Lefkowitz, words by Andrew Frisicano

Rahzel & Kenny Muhammad @ BAM
Shuffle Culture

The Questlove-curated "Shuffle Culture" debuted at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House last night (4/19). As promised, a rotating cast of performers including Deerhoof, the Metropolis Ensemble, DJ Jeremy Ellis, D.D. Jackson and Sasha Grey (not to be confused with Gray) graced the stage at different times, performing in 5 to 10 minute bursts before transitioning into the next act. I had little idea what to expect going in and I think the show benefits from the blind approach (aka don't click below if you're going tonight).

The two-show run concludes tonight with Willis Earl Beal and Gray (not to be confused with Grey) replacing Reggie Watts. Both should fit well into the atmosphere of the gig. Tickets are still on sale.

More about the show and pictures are below...

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For all of the pre-show talk about iPods, much of the vibe seemed to echo the beginning of the previous century. Metropolis Ensemble and Jeremy Ellis, the two acts that did most of the heavy lifting, focused on material that captured the pop of a record needle, the static of the AM radio band and the warbly tempos of an antique turntable. The tunes were at times celebratory and at others, eerie and postapaocalyptic. Sasha Grey's cryptic poetry-performance art was disarming as was D.D. Jackson's piano number, with Questlove on drums, that devolved into a key-smashing cacophony.

Deerhoof performed reliably as expected too, bolstered at times by strings. But for me the finale is what put the show over the top. If you're going to have Rahzel and Kenny Muhammad share a bill, then at some point the duo will take the stage for a beatboxing battle. As the pair cycled through styles, Questo providing accompaniment, they acted out the fight like two slow-motion monoliths from a Godzilla film. It was a huge and definitive closing to the playlist that had come before.

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Comments (16)

did sasha grey blow anybody on stage?

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2012 3:53 PM

The YTINASNIL posse wasn't there but she surely would have blown the whole group.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2012 4:03 PM

Maybe we should have gone on Thursday night instead of Friday because his show on Friday night positively SUCKED! It was downright dreadful. So dreadful that we walked out after 30 minutes.

Posted by LimestoneKid | April 20, 2012 9:42 PM

The show was SOOOOO WACK! Nonsensical. Quest did dj after which made up for the $30 ticket. However, when my girl asked for a pic with Q he acted like a big ol DICK.

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 12:40 AM

Show blew

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 12:41 AM

Have to agree with the comments above - I went on Friday night and thought it was a total train wreck. Save for a handful of numbers (the string quartet, the piano/drums duel and Rahzel's beatboxing, which were all great) the show bounced between almost lifeless to complete cacophony. The DJ kept dropping the beat, almost all the songs were awful to listen to (that Japanese singer - what the?), Sasha Gray's "poetry" was a nonsensical mess. As for Questlove, he barely picked up the sticks all night. A real disappointment.

Posted by System E | April 21, 2012 10:27 AM

Questlove needs to get over himself. His taste isn't nearly as good as he thinks it is.

Also, most overrated drummer out there. He's okay. That's it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 11:22 AM

quest usually walks on water but this was an unmitigated disaster... i went thursday..... it was horrendous from beginning to end.... i felt like such a sucker.... $45 plus fees per

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 11:24 AM

had its moments, but was pretty bad.

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 11:31 AM

11:31 let's face it- as much as you want to be positive and say the show had it's "moments", it really really was an epic failure of colossal proportions. and anyone who has been a roots fan for a while has seen rah do his thing a million times

stage looked cool though

Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 11:43 AM

I was there. Enjoyed the show for the most part. Could have done without Sasha Grey and WEB. Otherwise, thought it was excellent. Why exactly was it a train wreck?

Posted by Anonymous | April 23, 2012 10:42 AM

had its moments, but was pretty bad.

Posted by jad | April 27, 2012 4:43 AM

11:31 let's face it- as much as you want to be positive and say the show had it's "moments", it really really was an epic failure of colossal proportions. and anyone who has been a roots fan for a while has seen rah do his thing a million times

Posted by hafiz | May 7, 2012 4:23 AM

i love Shuffle Culture, thanks!

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