Social Lite

Image: Aaron Martin

I’ll never forget the time this amazingly decked out underage girl told me she wasn’t hip to women that use their sexuality to promote themselves. It floored me, mainly because she was pretty young to make such a mature observation, but also because I was seeing a lot of it around me and figured that’s sometimes what it takes to get what you want. Flirting/sexing/manipulating people until they just can’t say no. That’s what makes the world go round right? Not this past week, as I stood there dumbfounded by the return of Kea a.k.a. Quiet Kaos on the stage, this time with Travis Omega Cix and Barry DJ Bumble Bee. Their current group is the Monarx, but she’s been part of a crew since ’95. Part of a hip-hop scene I wasn’t lucky enough to live here for, during things like After Dark, Valentinos, The Groove and Euphoria. I’m told it was when Hawaii had all the golden age type underground spots, and that’s when Kea was smack dab in the middle of it. She has talent coming out of every orifice. She skates, B-girls, paints and her wordsmith skills just destroy. She has a demanding presence nobody in the room could take their eyes off. When she was on the mic she completely killed it. The sexy came after that. It was refreshing to see the honesty in the music and the talent. And after chasing down everyone who knows her for more information, the first thing they said was that she likes to be anonymous. It made me kind of love her. I had been hearing the buzz about the Monarx ever since the Zion I & The Grouch show back in June, but I had only heard it called “Travis’s new band.” Performances in private studios and at the Wednesday night Breakfast for Dinner event at Loft in Space were happening; I just couldn’t get to them. It was like this underground sort of chase I was doing to see them live. I’m so glad I did, and I’m so glad Broadcast is back in such full swing at Nextdoor.

Then oh man Saturday night. You would think it happens all the time, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t just because of how much everyone was gushing to DJ Delve. I’m talking about getting the entire room to dance during an opening set. It just doesn’t happen that much. There’s always that half-moon of blank space in front of the stage that’s probably super awkward for the band(s) performing and always makes me want to cry. Yet it always seems to be there for the opening acts and sometimes even for the main one. I always make a wish for that one guy who doesn’t care and just stands in front and dances. You know, the guy who leads the way for everyone else to MOVE UP. Hip-hop shows know how to do it, most times they just say “get up here you guys” and everyone does. Indie shows, not so much. People appreciate the music, but they’re appreciating it from half-way back. Saturday night, Lapwing blew everyone away with some new music he’s been working on. Then Delve had the difficult task of warming everyone up before The Jump Offs and somehow turned a barren dance floor into a ginormous dance party. It was special, but I’m working up the nerve to be that guy. Taking shuffling lessons at Asylum Afterhours and watching how-to videos on YouTube. There won’t be a show in this city that I’m at that doesn’t have a crowd dancing right up front. It will either be that or just me looking like a dufus. It’s worth the risk.

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