Suffer Safari

Another funk-rap-metal morph disturbs the peace

Since the alarming breakthrough of her multiplatinum (12 million units and counting) debut...Baby One More Time, national magazine exposés have greeted the performer and her handlers with questioning headlines like, "Britney: Too Sexy Too Soon?" The maelstrom has cast serious and legitimate questions about the willingness of Spears' parents and record company -- noted child pornographers Jive Records -- to pimp her out like so much spank fodder, a fact cemented by the choice of adult-film director Gregory Dark to shoot Britney's latest video.

But we're not into moral proselytizing. And as far as we can tell, our teeny-bop buttercup will be making a triumphant July 28 return to Phoenix -- just 10 days after we get our second Ricky Martin concert in less than a year. (Note to whoever is responsible for all this: Next time can we trade two Ricky Martin shows for one Tom Waits concert?)

Being dedicated journalists, our crack music staff has already begun what we like to call intensive "photographic research" on the Internet to get to the bottom (or through the top, as it were) of the Britney boob controversy. New Times scribe and resident trailer-park music critic Bill "Trashman" Blake has informed us that he has already downloaded more than 16,000 Britney pics, which he guarantees us he will personally inspect -- over and over again. Rest assured, we will not stop until the truth is uncovered.

Know Qwestion: About to begin work on their sophomore release.
Know Qwestion: About to begin work on their sophomore release.
Beach blanket bust: The Surf Ballistics' Dichromatic  --  the look on that dude's face says it all.
Beach blanket bust: The Surf Ballistics' Dichromatic -- the look on that dude's face says it all.

You Can Get With This: Last week's 42nd annual Grammy Awards was, to put it mildly, an eye-opening experience. From Kid Rock's showstopping performance (which reminds me, I really do need to get my own midget) to Jennifer Lopez's dress (which reminds me... well, never mind what that reminds me), there was no shortage of attention-grabbing moments.

The fact that rap's current "great white hype" and Dr. Dre discovery, Eminem, stole most of the big trophies was just another in a long line of high-profile hip-hop news stories that has obscured the efforts of the more deserving exponents of the genre -- among them the long-overlooked Roots. The group, along with eclectic R&B chanteuse Erykah Badu, managed to sneak away the statue for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "You Got Me."

Valley residents will get a chance to be reminded how artistically challenging and socially valid rap can be, as two of the past decade's best acts, Virginia natives Das EFX and Brooklyn's Black Sheep, make a stop at Tempe's Pompeii next Wednesday.

On the recording front, Das EFX has been dormant since releasing 1998's Generation EFX, a return to form after the group's lackluster '95 effort Hold It Down. Meanwhile, Black Sheep -- best known for their 1991 hit "The Choice Is Yours" -- put out a well-received long player, Which Side R/U On, last September. Both outfits are in the midst of a monthlong nationwide tour that ends next week.

Das EFX is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, March 8, at Pompeii in Tempe, with Black Sheep. Showtime is 9 p.m.

Internet Killed the Radio Star:What kind of proud Americans would we be if we didn't engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion? We wouldn't, of course. That's why Bash & Pop is proud to announce that Scene, Heard, the weekly Internet radio show broadcast from our sister paper in Texas, the Dallas Observer, has expanded its format to two hours and moved to Thursdays at 3 p.m. Hosted by former and current music editors (and effervescent on-air personalities) Robert Wilonsky and Zac Crain, Scene, Heard is, dare we say, a music lover's dream. With a regular playlist that includes the best in new, old and unreleased music (including advance CDs and the occasional "import" track -- if ya know what I mean), it's basically the kind of programming you can't and won't hear on commercial airwaves anywhere. The show also includes regular guest spots from other music editors in the New Times chain, playing the cream of their respective city's musical crops. Best of all, the show is completely free from any FCC regulatory control, which means lots and lots of cursing.

Get connected to Scene, Heard Radio:
Live every Tuesday and archived 24 hours a day.
Hosted by Robert Wilonsky, Zac Crain and Christina Ree

Contact Bob Mehr at his online address: bob.mehr@newtimes.com

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