Upcoming shows you should check out
YOUNG THUG COMES TO VISIONS
Good luck making it through the summer without hearing Young Thug’s “Danny Glover,” or any of the derivative iterations that will be released, at least a dozen times. Like Rich Homie Quan’s “Type of Way” last year, it’s insanely hook-y chorus is going to find its way into every trap DJ mix in the hottest part of 2014. It’s a brilliant distillation of Young Thug’s weirdo warble, which made the most humdrum verses on his 2013 mixtape 1017 Thug sound like a Hedwig Gorski reading, even if the track might be fudging the truth. He polishes off the track’s shapeshifting chorus with the zinger “Money stand like eight feet just like two midgets,” which according to a recent Buzzfeed profile that reported he only received a $15,000 advance from Atlantic upon signing one of those dreaded 360 deals, that would amount to a little less than five feet. And that’s only if he hasn’t spent a dime of it. So Young Thug is hard up for cash, but he’s willing to entertain for it and he’ll do so at Visions Entertainment Complex on Thursday. Tickets are $20 at the door, or $30 to skip the line.
KILLER MIKE IS PLAYING SERENDIP- ITY WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT
Just about every college has the same type of unofficial outlet for random, student body confessions and musings. Usually they amount to trivial claptrap, but one Guilford College student took it to extreme levels when they bemoaned the choices for the school’s annual spring concert, Serendipity. Those choices happened to include Killer Mike and Big K.R.I.T., two of the most respected rappers in the game. To highlight the absurdity of such a move, the former had his name on two of the best hip-hop records of the past two years, his own R.A.P. Music in 2012 and the Run the Jewels with El-P. Fortunately, better tastes prevailed and Killer Mike is the Friday night headliner for Serendipity in the Alumni Gym. It’s a fitting choice, really. For a rapper whose rhymes are like laser-guided missiles aimed at every facet of the establishment, he’s a perfect choice to play a free party on Friday night at one of the more socially conscious academic institutions in the south.
He’s not, however, an Immortal Technique type where you walk away feeling deflated and defeated from the copious amounts of harsh reality he drops on you. On the contrary, Killer Mike will help you come to know anger that you never knew was inside of you. He’ll have you sticking your middle finger in the air along with him yelling “F—Ronald Reagan” before twisting that energy into a rowdy Purple Ribbon joint like “Kryptonite (I’m On It),” all with an electric smile across his face. In short, those kids don’t know what’s about to hit them. Mike will be supported by the ultra-prolific dubstep and progressive house producer MitiS, but it’s also just one-half of Serendipity’s excellent lineup. Canadian trap star Ryan Hemsworth plays Saturday night down by the lake and while his sets are anything but full-throttle ragers, but they’re also never boring. He’ll throw in anything from Que and Rich Homie Quan to Minnie Rippert, Disclosure and Outkast, scrubbed down with eight-bit beats, post-rock soundscapes or J-Pop silliness. You’ll need a wristband to get into either show, and you’ll need to be a student to get those, but fear not. Bring three cans of food to donate and you’re in.
“WHO SHOT ROCK & ROLL” DOESN’T ANSWER EVERY QUESTION, BUT IT TRIES
You’d be hard-pressed to find a promo photo more faithful to its source material on the RiverRun Film Festival’s website than the one for “Who Shot Rock & Roll”, the documentary by Steve Kochones. It’s a dark, but dramatically lit concert shot from the classic three-quarters photo pit perspective with its subject cast in a silhouette against blue stage lights, with what looks like the outline of a guitar in hand, pensively engaged in a solo. But it’s not. It’s renowned photographer Jill Furmanovsky, with her back to the camera in sort of a meta capture, holding her own Canon 1 series with a 70-200L looking like a guitar neck. In “Who Shot Rock & Roll”, the rock stars are the rock stars, but so are the photographers.
Based on a book which itself was based off of an exhibition of more than 50 year of music photography, “Who Shot Rock & Roll” shines a light on the stories behind some of the most famous rock images of all time, albeit from the height of rockism. While it provides a unique perspective on images from great, but unsung shooters, there’s the sense that the subject matter has long since passed its “Best by” date. The images fly by so quickly at times that it feels like you’re watching a PowerPoint presentation. Kochones had the daunting task of trying to fit an expansive, involved and often sordid craft into a VH1-ready package, and in the process, probably too much ground to make any part of it fascinating. It only glosses over the performance trade right at the end without much insight other than the kind of credential that you want, which, if you’re coming into its RiverRun showings hoping to pick the brains of its successful subjects, you probably came to the wrong place. “Who Shot Rock & Roll” will play on Saturday, April 5 and Saturday, April 12 as a part of the RiverRun International Film Festival. !