Thursday, October 22, 2009
Saul Williams @ CMJ
Sometimes it's better to forgo the unknown and stick with a sure bet; and last night's programming at CMJ inspired just that. Though there were a few bands I was curious to see (like Bang Bang Eche and Atlas Sound), I decided instead to go see Saul Williams headline the Afropunk showcase at Gramercy Theatre.
For those of you not in the know, Saul Williams is a brilliantly prolific singer, musician and poet who embraces electronica, hip-hop, spoken word and rock—then douses it with a glittery aesthetic that David Bowie would be proud of.
Last night's performance did not dissapoint. Though there was some confusion about the start time, Williams wound up performing for more than two hours as the audience literally would not let him stop. The result? We were treated to a broad range of his discography, including heavy helpings of his acclaimed collaboration with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! As demand for more grew, Williams even premiered a new, never-before-heard track that remained in the vain of his bass-heavy, electro-industrial rap style.
When the show actually did end—after what seemed like two encores—Williams jumped into the audience and proceeded to hug the remaining faithful, as if we were in a receiving line.
Look up Saul Williams, you won't regret it.
As for me, I'm off for a full day of shows today. If you're in NYC, stop by Cake Shop for Tee Pee Records' free day show, featuring stoner favorites Hull, Naam, Nebula and Priestess. You may even get some free Colt 45 for your efforts. It starts at noon and goes until 6 pm.