Author Archives: Kenny Abdo

TVD Live: Monument Presents DDm, a Benefit for STAR TRACK, at DC9, 3/21

It was sometime around the middle of DDm’s very short [6-7 songs] setlist, when he took a moment to explain the ideas and reasoning behind one of his newest songs, “Fake Girls.”

“Scripted dramas…are a thing of the past.”

Now, he prompted this comment by asking the attendants of the show to simply shout-out the name of a current, popular reality-television program to prove his argument—which was to say that even our concept of reality is now nothing more than faux-drama orchestrated behind the scene by producers.

Which isn’t necessarily a new thought. Sure, we’d love to believe that the once-ostentatious Ozzy Osbourne is now just a brain dead Ward Cleaver and that Kris Kardashian isn’t, plainly put, the Devil incarnate, proving that even the unassuming viewers have a suspension of disbelief.
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TVD Recommends: Monument Presents DDm, A Benefit for STAR TRACK at DC9, tonight (3/21)

With Monument Music and Arts, the forward-thinking charitable organization, you can expect them to put together a great live performance while supporting an important cause. With the city of Baltimore, you can always count on getting a cold Natty Boh, being attacked by gulls from the Inner Harbor, and hearing a fresh new voice in music. Tonight at DC9, watch as these two elements collide into one event that you will not want to miss—Monument Presents DDm, A Benefit for STAR TRACK.

Emannuel “DDm” Moss has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative, ferocious, and vibrantly energetic voices in Baltimore hip-hop today. From mixtapes, to remixes, to features, DDm has put a new spin on what people have to come expect from the genre. With his single “Killer Queen,” he not only came out as “Baltimore’s first openly gay rapper,” but he made it loud and clear that he’s not going to subscribe to any standard or expectations. The lyrics to his songs and the demeanor that follows tell his listeners that it’s okay to do the same.

Together, Monument, along with DC legend Sean Peoples and DDm, will not just be offering a wild show, popping music and dancing for all, but awareness for the STAR TRACK program. STAR TRACK [Special Teens At Risk—Together Reaching Access, Care, and Knowledge] from the University of Maryland Medical Center has been offering comprehensive and thorough care and support to at-risk and HIV positive teens in and around Baltimore city since 1989. STAR TRACK promotes healthier life-styles and alternatives that help reduce risky sexual behavior.

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TVD Live: The Pharcyde at Howard Theatre, 2/2

The Pharcyde busted onto the scene in 1992 with their impossibly catchy and entirely unique debut, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. Hailing from South Los Angeles during the era of hard gangster rap and coastal feuds, Pharcyde made a point to go against what was expected from the politics of hip-hop—keeping the samples fun, yet beguiling, and the lyrics playful, but nevertheless thought-provoking:

It was the fame that they tried to get / Now they walking around talkin’ about represent / And keep it real, but I got to appeal / ‘Cause they existing in a fantasy when holding the steel

Pharcyde10

Bouncing back from a group fall-out and decade-long hiatus, Fat Lip, Slimkid3, and J. Swift [only missing two-original members, Imani and Bootie Brown] exploded onto the stage at Howard Theatre last Saturday to an adoring audience who were ready to go on the bizarre ride. The stage setup was minimalism at its finest—just the Pharcyde boys and a screen projecting a mix of psychedelic images and past music videos. There wasn’t much of a need for more than that.

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TVD Recommends:
DJ Vadim at Tropicalia, tonight, 1/31

Scratching and rolling his way around the world, DJ Vadim has made a name for himself internationally as the go-to musician to start the party. Having worked with Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Public Enemy, and The Roots, Vadim has brought down the house in over 63 countries.

The Russia born, UK raised, and States-residing artist founded his own label, Jazz Fudge in 1994 before joining the Ninja Tune force, where he dominated the DJ and producing role. Having remixed powerhouses like Prince, Paul Weller, and The Cure while releasing over 30 albums just under the name DJ Vadim (he also goes by Little Aida and Andre Gurov, to name a few pseudonyms) he has secured himself a prominent voice in the hip-hop/electronic world.

What was the very first vinyl record that you owned? How did it shape you as a music lover/creator?

The first album was Big Daddy Kane, Long Live the Kane. What an album!

Was the turntable your first instrument? If not, what did you pick up first?

Well, yes it was. I kinda sucked at all other instruments!

Who were your major influences during the formative years of your career?

I guess hip-hop was my first love. Listening to BDK (Big Daddy Kane), Rakim, Stetsasonic, NWA, Ghetto Boys, 2 Live Crew, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Juice Crew, BDP (Boogie Down Productions), Run DMC, Slick Rick…

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TVD Live: Thievery Corporation at the 9:30 Club, 1/18

When you see a performance live, you usually go in knowing the genre, speed, and crowd you’re walking into. Doing so usually eliminates the element of surprise that generally makes seeing something old (like a band you have an affinity for) work on a less exciting level.

So when you take the idea of genre-meshing—the act of taking everything you know about a couple types of music, throwing it into a sack and beating it against a tree—you form something completely new and unique, even if it’s just recycled material. Which is why I can see how Thievery Corporation, the very DC staple that takes genre-meshing to a whole other level, can sell out three back-to-back shows at the 9:30 Club after 18 years in the biz. Not being the type of group who is relegated to just one category, Thieves doesn’t so much tap dance on the line of multi-genus—but krumps all over it.

Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, the figureheads of Thievery, held rank in the back, bopping and swaying to the music they created along with the rest of the audience, who refused to stop dancing throughout the entire show. Keeping the interlacing strong, they orchestrated a revolving door of 15 members coming on and off of the stage to give a fresh angle on music we had (mostly) already been privy to. One singer replaced the other as the set went on, bringing their own flavor to each of the Corporation’s cuts. LouLou O. Ghelichkhani took reign for a good part, with her soulful crooning as lead singer during the set. Then we got a healthy dose of the rasta supreme from the masters Ras Puma, Sleepy Wonder, and See-I, each giving a lesson on a little thing called reggae.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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