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Sight and Sound at Club Reality


Soul Cannon | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam

Thursday night's event at Club Reality,

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, was billed as not just a show but an "experience," using both the venue's downstairs performance area and upstairs gallery. The union of visual art and music still had a bit of a slant toward the latter, however, since the running theme of most of the photography on display was local musicians. Featured photographers included Kelly Connelly and the

City Paper

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's own Ryan "RaRah" Stevenson, who covered their respective walls with artful, memorable images of rappers, DJs, and bands.

While bands were setting up downstairs, however, there was a performance element of the presentation in the gallery. A slam poet going by the name of Ad Lib hosted the proceedings with no microphone, and decided to pluck an individual out of the audience at random to help him with an improvised poem. And the person he decided to single out was. . . me. I made a show of giving the guy a hard time, and when he asked for words to build free verse around, pointed to objects in the room and gave suggestions like "light" and "wallpaper" just to watch him artfully weave around the challenge. I was disappointed when he moved on without asking for my next word, which was going to be "table."

The show downstairs kicked off with Ndelible, an impressive live band from Washington. In just three songs, it displayed its musical range, opening with a song where the band aped the instrumental from Jay-Z's "D.O.A." while frontman David James rapped original lyrics, and closing with "Consistent," a gorgeous mid-tempo ballad for which James sang and played guitar.

But things really got cooking when local hip-hop band Soul Cannon took the stage soon after. I don't know if they just never clicked with me in the past, or if rapper Ezekiel "Eze" Jackson and his backing musicians were just really on at Club Reality, but Soul Cannon sounded lean and fierce like never before, with tight, aggressive runs through "Still Something To Give" and "Verbal Intercourse." Its set was a truly memorable moment, with the enthusiastic crowd standing and cheering after every song. And the nice thing is that, given the theme of the evening, there were a lot of cameras in the room to capture it.

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