Live Hip Hop Comes to the Cat's Cradle

It's a Saturday night and a couple of thousand people are cheering as our Tarheels destroy UConn in a game of football. Not so far down the way a handful of people are spread throughout the floor at the Cat's Cradle, listening as opening act Mosadi Music appropriately opens the show with their vocally smooth and instrumentally abrasive hip hop. Poet and lyricist Shirlette Ammons trooped onwards alongside her band mates, giving an amazing performance to a sparse crowd. Guitarist Chris Boerner was especially impressive with his guitar solos, which were reminiscent of Eddie Hazel, guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic. The rhythm section served as a backbone for Shirlette's machine gun vocal delivery. They closed out the set the same way they started it: strong and with a vibrant intensity. It was a shame that so few people actually got to watch them.

This was an important night for the Urban Sophisticates, since it was their CD Release Show for Classic Material, their third studio release. The floor got more crowded as the football game let out, and Urban kicked into the set with their usual intensity. Urban's live show definitely stands strong to the reputation, delivering a selection of both old and new songs, alongside a few surprise covers. Front-man Benton James eased through each tune as his brother, Aaron, offered soulful crooning intermittently throughout the night. The band, including a trumpet, trombone, bassist, guitarist, and drummer, crowded the stage and served as the perfect vehicle for Benton's smooth, laid back vocal style.

All in all, the show was amazingly fun and the only disappointing aspect was the fact that more people didn't get to see it.

Mosadi Music: http://www.stumphole.com/ ; http://www.myspace.com/mosadilive

Urban Sophisticates: www.urbansophisticates.com/ ; http://www.myspace.com/theurbansophisticates