At just 19 years of age, Rollie Pemberton (a.k.a. Cadence Weapon) is living large in Toronto serving up double duty as both a rapper and producer whose credits include acts like The Beastie Boys, M.I.A., and Gwen Stefani, to name a few. Varied musical interests keep the Cadence from really developing a personality behind the mic, allowing some to draw Jay-Z comparisons. Cadence Weapon is the Black Hand takes on subject matter with humor and even video game references like: “Until I run into your house and take your jewels like Zelda’s Link”. Nothing is taboo in just telling it like it is as Cadence raps about everything you might expect from a teenager such as going to the mall, partying with friends and girlfriend problems. Unlike others in the genre, Cadence accepts his own humility and the decadence within his tracks — delivering an aesthetic slap in the face behind his dynamic framework. (Sunday, 6:15-7:15, Balance Stage) –text: Jyn Radakovits–photo: Garry T.
THE COOL KIDS
The Cool Kids will make appearances at two of the summer festival circuit’s biggest dates without having to leave their hometown. In less than a 3-week span, the Chicago hip hop duo will have stints at both the Pitchfork Festival and Lollapalooza. And their timing couldn’t be better, with the duo’s record The Bake Sale set to be released last month before distribution demands pushed the date back. With an affinity (and fashion sensibility) of the late ’80s and early ’90s fun-time beats and quirkily turned phrases, the tandem gives wink-wink-nudge-nudge acknowledgments to some of the genre’s trappings like “a little bit of gold and a pager,” while never allowing their tongue-in-cheek presentation to sound comical. And if rock ’n’ roll’s current roster of buzz bands can embrace every element of throwback nostalgia, why can’t hip hop? (Sunday, 5:15-6:15, Balance Stage) –text: Derek Wright–photo: Constance K.
Having never had the pleasure of seeing Jamie Lidell in person, I eagerly clicked the video link on his website so I could see the man in action. As the camera panned out, a vision in what appeared to be purple rhinestone-covered vestments gripped the mic tightly with long, gnarled fingers as he whaled into the crowd. The yellow spikes attached to the garment shake with each gyration. From his tracks, you would never guess that Lidell was a wildman at heart. The singer compared to Otis Redding delivers a soulful sound and adds a modern twist to some of our favorite performers of the past. While the beats are as badass as they come, it is Lidell’s voice that carries each tune. And while you may be most familiar with “A Little Bit More”, the Target tune stuck in our heads by the thrifty bulls eye commercials, you won’t be disappointed by the rest. (Sunday, 5-6, Aluminum Stage) –text: Angela Schiappacasse
Stephen Malkmus is many things to many people. For some, he is the poet that continues to find the words which voice the thoughts and feelings that so frustratingly escape those seeking to make sense out of one little moment in life. And to others, he is that indie icon from an era long since past that you’re supposed to know about in order to help add some creditability to your current musical tastes. At 41, Malkmus has maintained an identity that allows him to honestly face himself in the mirror while remaining excited about what tomorrow will bring. The California native has continued to build a career that hasn’t been blanketed in the shadows of Pavement and has developed a voice that expresses a confidence in the belief that growing up doesn’t have to mean approaching an end. (Sunday, 6-7, Connector Stage) –text: Chris Castaneda–photo: Roger Kisby