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One Man Traveling Show

What do Cut Chemist and Reggie Watts have in common? Aside from having them bookend my weekend, they’re one-man-audio-geniuses. Cut Chemist tore up the Showbox at the Market Friday night with a half dozen turntables, most of which were tied to his MacBook Pro. The real joy was how he beat juggled a stack of vinyl to create a smattering of sound unlike anything I’d heard live to date. I kept having to tell myself, “that’s just one dude up there.” Cut, I applaud (still) the way you masterfully wove loops from Giles Peterson and flecks of Moby throughout your own music, ultimately changing it’s DNA but still keeping something familiar. As an aside one of my favorite lines in lyrical history is “She gave me headphones, said ‘have you heard this sound?’ I think I’ve heard this one, it’s totally underground.” As with the lyrics, the timing and delivery of each scratch, mix, beat, tweak, wobble, whatever it was that he was doing with his equipment on stage was nothing short of phenomenal. Cheers man. Come back to Seattle again, I’ll bring the beakers, you bring the breaks.

On the B side of the weekend, we’ve got Reggie Watts. Perhaps the biggest beard-fro-combo I’ve seen on anyone. This man is brilliant as well, but in different ways. Reggie can drop impromptu knowledge faster than you could get it through an XKCD comic, and in a way where you didn’t realize it could be spit via rhyme with elegance in tone and harmony. The vocal range of this man is as limitless as his respect for Seattle and contempt for contemporary music. Two mics, a keyboard and a couple pieces of sampling/looping equipment and he commanded a sea of people to bob their heads, crest in hysterics, and ride tumultuously syncopated audio waves he flawlessly spit for us. Yes, he played The Neptune … but he also embodied Poseidon, with his presence and stage command. I’m still in awe of just how long his songs lasted and how intricate they were harmonized by layering his own voice over loops time and time again. Thanks for the Sea Town home coming. We look forward to the next time you blow up the stage with your lyrics, insight and vocals.

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