Extended Play

by Jordan Green

“How do you make art that speaks to the human experience? How do you make music that crosses boundaries of gender, class, ethnicity and geography? You speak truth from your heart, filter it through your mind and put your soul into all you do…. In the age of disposable ring-tone rap and one-hit wonders it’s rare to find a rapper who asks himself, ‘What am I giving to the world?’ every time he steps into the studio. In rap these days, how many people really aspire to make classic material? The man born Lonnie Rashid Lynn does. You see, Common isn’t just a dope emcee; he’s the perfect example of hip-hop’s potential for growth.”

So begins the official biography of Common, hip hop’s conscience. He’ll be at the N Club in downtown Greensboro on Sept. 28.

On Wednesday reggae legends Israel Vibration and the Roots Radics share the stage at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem.

The following night begins a 15-band slugfest at Ziggy’s to determine who will reign in this latest episode of the bragfest known as the Battle of the Bands. Thursday’s lineup features Cilice, Live Wire, the Get Down Sequence, Thacker Dairy Road and Brettany Fox. Friday’s lineup includes Seven Stitches, Dukes of Stratford, Anonymous, Defying Belief and Turbo Project. Saturday’s lineup includes Misgiven, Native Sound, Carolina Clearwater, Half Sewn Heart and Ton. The semi-finals take place on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The Davis Tucker Trio, featuring the High Point troubadour who bills himself as the “middle-of-the-road redneck,” provides the musical entertainment at Liberty Steakhouse in High Point’s Oak Hollow Mall on Thursday. Also worth checking out on Thursday is the disciplined funk of Hot Politics at Backstreets in Greensboro.

The Wally West Little Big Band caps off the workweek with an early evening performance at the Friendly Center on Friday. Greensboro’s champion live-music rap outfit the Urban Sophisticates hold court at Greene Street on Friday, and over on South Elm Street at Two Art Chicks Irata shares the stage with Bronzed Chorus, Sugar In the Dirt and Joe Fain.

“Our goal is to create instrumental soundscapes using traditional and non-traditional instrumentation,” writes Irata’s Jason Ward.

Also on Friday, the Shakori Hills’ Moonlight Music and Dance Series at the festival’s Grove Stage outside of Silk Hope features the Hushpuppies. An obscure old-time band, the Hushpuppies features the guitar playing of Steve Terrill, proprietor of Old 97 Wrecords in Greensboro’s Glenwood neighborhood. If Steve will remind me, I’ll return his book about North Carolina Piedmont string-band music.

In our second issue, we reported on how the city of Greensboro rolled out the red carpet for Motley Cre seven years after band members poured beer on a black security guard and berated him with a racial epithet. Then-Greensboro City Councilman Don Vaughan had represented the security guard in a civil suit, but in January 2005 he told YES! Weekly: “We’re very happy to have Motley Cre back and we hope they sell out the coliseum. We hope their behavior will be consistent with their professional abilities.”

Since then, lead singer Vince Neil has become something like a favorite son. He’ll be at Greensboro Coliseum with Quiet Riot and Slaughter on Saturday.