Live music preview: Mobb Deep, Coolzey, Bleached and more


The duo Prodigy and Havoc are legendary rappers from the golden era of hardcore hip hop. Hailing from the Queensbridge Projects in New York City, Mobb Deep’s seminal sophomore album The Infamous was a realistic tale of the street gangsta. Rather than glorifying the lifestyle, Prodigy’s poetic rhymes and Havoc’s minimalist, bleak production presented a life full of misery, violence and paranoia. This album cemented their legacy as one of the great hip-hop groups to come out of the New York hardcore scene and built a legacy for the area’s future rap crews like Dipset. Anyone who has an interest in hardcore rap or likes the grittiness of New York rap should be at this show. […]

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Outside the box: An interview with Will Shortz

Will Shorts, puzzle master

If the clue were, “America’s most acclaimed contemporary crossword puzzle master,” the answer would be, unquestionably, “Will Shortz.” In addition to holding the world’s only college degree in enigmatology, the art and science of puzzle-making, Shortz has been the puzzle master for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday since the program’s start in 1987 and crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times since 1993; additionally, he was the editor of the legendary Games magazine for 15 years, and he is the founder of both the […]

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Prairie Pop: Mobb Deep’s past, present and future

Mobb Deep

“I got you stuck off the realness / we be the infamous”—Prodigy rapped in the opening verse of “Shook Ones, Part II,” Mobb Deep’s classic 1995 single—“you heard of us / official Queensbridge murderers / the Mobb comes equipped with warfare, beware.” Grimy, blood-soaked and unrelentingly bleak, Mobb Deep’s albums were filled with first-person tales delivered over menacing beats and minor key samples. Prodigy and his partner-in-musical-crime Havoc sounded like they had roamed the mean streets of New York since they were old enough to lift a banana clip. The reality, however, was a little more mundane. […]

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September: The month in theatre

The Stage

Dreamwell Theatre president Matt Falduto described the theme of their 2013-2014 season as “In Defense of Guilt.” Kicking things off is Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, featuring direction by Matthew Brewbaker and a large cast. The play is set in Purgatory, where a trial is held to determine the fate of Judas, the man who ultimately betrays Jesus in the New Testament. […]

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The meticulous sampler: An interview with Eliot Lipp

Eliot Lipp

Over the last decade or so, Brooklyn-based musician Eliot Lipp has been creating and releasing tracks from a number of ‘home bases.’ Before ending up in Brooklyn — where he currently resides — the electronic music artist spent time honing his craft in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco to name a few, not to mention his penchant for touring internationally. […]

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Check out The Appleseed Cast this Tuesday at Gabe’s

The Appleseed Cast

Kansas-based band The Appleseed Cast are scheduled to play Gabe’s Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The band has gone through a number of lineup changes since forming in the late ‘90s, and as a result each of their albums has a markedly different feel. Early in their career, The Appleseed Cast was defined by critics as being an emo band. In a lot of ways, they were an emo band at the time, but recently it seems like they’ve outgrown that label and moved closer to something more quantifiable as post-rock. […]

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El Ten Eleven set to mesmerize the Yacht Club

El Ten Eleven

The intricately textured, post-rock and electronic music of El Ten Eleven sounds like it is either made by a 10-piece band or a single nerd with a laptop, but it is in fact performed by duo Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty.

Even if you don’t recognize the name, you may have come across El Ten Eleven’s music on NPR’s “All Things Considered” or the PBS design documentaries “Helvetica,” “Objectified” and “Urbanized”–all three of which were scored by Dunn and featured tracks by El Ten Eleven. […]

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Mexico City’s Risin’ Sun heading to Iowa City

Risin' Sun

Mexico’s counter-culture movement during the 1960’s fostered some amazing, though not very well known in the U.S., psychedelic and garage rock bands. As anyone familiar with the likes of Los Dug Dugs, Los Shakes or The Spiders can attest, these bands knew how to combine American rock and roll with a raw energy and weirdness that was all their own. Following in this tradition comes Mexico City’s The Risin’ Sun, performing at the Yacht Club on August 20. […]

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An interview with the Kinsey Sicks

Kinsey Sicks

The Kinsey Sicks have been delighting fans with their poignant brand of political satire since rising out of San Francisco’s Castro District in the early ’90s. Billing themselves as a Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, the group formed on a lark after a few friends showed up to a Bette Midler concert in drag and quickly… […]

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