Thursday, December 3, 2009

Low End Theory at The Airliner in East LA – Family Reunion Special – 12/2/09

I’d never even heard of glitch hop before last week. Now, not only do I know what glitch hop is, but I’ve experienced it firsthand &, man, was it intense! The best definition of "glitch hop" I can come up with is “electro hip hop with super heavy bass”. It’s a new genre of music that certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but, if you’re into drum & bass &/or underground hip hop, I highly recommend checking it out. And, if you live in the LA area, The Airliner in East LA on a Wednesday night is a great place to get your first taste!

The 3 artists we saw perform last night were Nocando (pronounced no-can-do), Nosaj Thing (usually pronounced no-such-thing) & the headliner, The Gaslamp Killer.  

A few minutes before Nocando’s set, I was on the back patio chatting with my friends while they smoked cigarettes. A guy asked to borrow a lighter & we struck up a fun little conversation with him. The dude was really chill & down-to-earth but I just assumed he was a fellow show attendee. It wasn’t until Nocando was up on stage doing his thing that I realized we’d been shootin’ the sh*t with one of Low End Theory’s featured artists! Nocando rapped while the house DJ was spinning &, although it was sometimes a little tough to hear what he was saying over the room-shaking bass, he really got the crowd moving with his sweet flows & deep beats.

Next up was Nosaj Thing (Jason Chung) who opened for Fever Ray at The Fonda on 10/7/09. With his recent debut album Drift getting many positive reviews, Nosaj (which is Jason spelled backwards) was making a very special, surprise appearance so the audience was pretty stoked. I had never heard of Nosaj before last night but, after having my friend Cole give me a brief explanation of who Nosaj was & seeing the audience’s reaction to Nosaj stepping onto the stage, I got pretty excited myself! And Nosaj Thing did not disappoint with his dance-inducing mish-mash of instrumental hip-hop, electronica, and bass-heavy dubstep.

The Gaslamp Killer was last night’s headliner & the first thing I noticed about this guy was his giant afro. It was really entertaining to watch Gaslamp bop his ‘fro around while dancing to his own funky glitch hop beats. I loved the way Gaslamp used his bass. In Nocando & Nosaj’s music, the bass was constant & super loud. Gaslamp took the bass on & off giving your eardrums a little break each time & also allowing you to hear the beats going on beneath the bass more clearly. I think that’s why I was the most inspired to get down dancing during Gaslamp’s set.

I recorded a few little videos last night but the bass made the audio turn out pretty badly so, to give you a better idea, here's a clip of Gaslamp playing at Low End Theory in July 2008:

Walking out of The Airliner, I spotted Gaslamp & took a photo with him. He gave me one of his stickers & told me to find him on Facebook so, of course, I’ve already become an official fan :-)

One tip for Low End Theory night at The Airliner: Bring earplugs if you’ve got them. I definitely could’ve used a pair last night to help neutralize the bass a bit but now I know for next time (and there will be a next time). The bass was SO overwhelming that it shook me from head to toe. I could feel it on my skin. My entire body was vibrating &, although there weren’t many girls in the crowd last night, I can guarantee every female there was thoroughly enjoying those vibrations!

My buddy Evan put it best when he said, "I never knew my eyelashes could vibrate.”

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