Nu Era with Raz, the Gnu Deal, J to tha E, Camila Recchio
(Neumos) Solomon "Raz" Simone formerly fronted 2009 Sound Off! semifinalist hiphop/funk/soul fusion band Razpy & the Vigilantes, but he's since gone on to pursue a solo rap career. His latest single, "They'll Speak," is four minutes of intense, emotional lyrics spit over nothing but a few orchestral string swells—a risky, minimal combination for a hiphop song that he works to his advantage. With almost no instrumentation behind him, Raz's rapid cadence becomes the beat, his heavy words hitting harder than programmed kick drums. He's definitely a local rapper to pay attention to, and this solo set should be a great early look at what else he has in store. MIKE RAMOS See Also My Philosophy, page 34.
(Town Hall) My knowledge of classical music is limited to Bach and Debussy. So what I have to say about Joshua Roman, a cellist who currently lives in New York City but was once the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, is not drawn from a great or deep understanding of the kind of music he has mastered. That said, the first time I saw Roman perform, it had such an impact on me that I made my daughter leave the piano (which she was studying) and pick up the cello. His sound was so sweet, so steady, so soulful that it changed my whole opinion of the full-bodied instrument. A scientist ultimately wants to be a priest (a person who tells us what's happening behind reality, behind appearances); an artist ultimately wants to be a sorcerer (a person who fucks with reality and appearances by transforming the believable into the unbelievable). Roman is a great sorcerer. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Barboza) San Francisco's Terry Malts rightfully draw comparisons to the Ramones (see especially "I Do"), but the resemblance occurs in sonics only. There's no cartoon aesthetic here, and there's a tunefulness and raggedness in the guitars and tones that Queens' godfathers of punk never employed. What's more, Terry Malts' songs are so much damn fun to listen to that you might as well just turn it up and say fuck all to that whole debate anyway. It's okay to love 'em both. GRANT BRISSEY