Local hip-hop artist brings rock 'n' roll feel to shows

Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:09 p.m.

There's lots of local flavor this weekend all over the map, from punk to rock to electronic to hip-hop. This is one of the most locally centered music weekends we've had in Gainesville in a long time, with virtually no acts coming from outside of the Southeast. I enjoy the local atmosphere because it gives fans an opportunity to get more involved in our scene, not someone else's. With that being said there are a lot of shows to cover as this week is an especially busy one as well.

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D.P. (Danny Perez) brings his hip-hop styles to Common Grounds on Friday along with other acts from Pensacola and Atlanta.

Special to the Sun

I'll start with an avenue I rarely feature, hip-hop. Gainesville's hip-hop scene seems to pop up and disappear before anyone has the chance to really get involved, but one artist who is not only the leader of Gainesville hip-hop but also its biggest promoter is D.P. He'll be performing at Common Grounds on Friday night, with doors opening at 9 p.m.

Some people know him as Danny Perez but without question the vocalist is doing his best to encourage other hip-hop artists to break out in town, and he's also not afraid to get involved in other scenes to make it happen, exemplified by his band. Yes, live hip-hop often consists of one rapper and DJ, leaving the audience with little to pay attention to outside of programmed beats and shouted lyrics. But, D.P. took the time to build himself a band, complete with a pianist, guitarist, bassist and drummer, which gives his performances more of a rock 'n' roll feel. Most of D.P.'s hooks are piano-based, being that he writes them on piano, so Elton John-like pop melodies frequently work their way into his music as well. Joining him on stage will be Swamp Boy Slim and other regional hip-hop acts such as Big-Lo from Pensacola, and Quanstar, Evaready Raw, Ghani Guantama and Metrognome from Atlanta.

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After surprisingly canceling their last show, the local rock quartet Colourslide will be making their return to the stage Saturday night at Common Grounds to release their new LP, "Everybody's Right About Everybody." Colourslide is one of the few bands in Gainesville with great potential for success on a national level.

They use highly consumable elements from different rock arenas like indie, alternative and soft rock to sculpt their sound, which I would say falls somewhere in line with Kings of Leon or Jimmy Eat World. Their music has a danceable quality without being pigeonholed into that category. The song "Lost Again" is a great example of the "single" material this band possesses. The pulsing bass line, fast hi-hat work and single-note, downstroke guitar mixed with Human League-like synth lines are what people crave now in indie clubs. "Lost Again" can definitely make it there. Check out this band before they head off to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, later this March.

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At George's Meet and Produce on Saturday, the Gainesville reggae band Mindrise also will be releasing a new LP. Mindrise is one of the best reggae bands in town with an expansive take on Caribbean music. They regularly venture into Latin rhythms and melodies, making their brand of reggae much more interesting than most.

They'll be performing with the Savi Fernandez Band, a reggae, funk and jam band from Orlando. Since I'm originally from Orlando, I can tell you these guys are legit and a fantastic supporting group to Mindrise, especially for fans looking for a bit more blues in this show.

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At Backstage Lounge on Friday night, check out Bombtrack, a local Rage Against the Machine tribute band. This is the first I've heard of these guys, but the tribute bands in town tend to be pretty authentic and fun to watch. If you grew up in the '90s like I did, chances are Rage Against the Machine was one of your favorite bands, and at the very least, a band you had to respect for their intelligent use of hip-hop to promote social change and for the always innovative guitar work of Tom Morello. Bombtrack should be worth a shot.

Also make sure to check out Bang Bang Boom and Paxico Via Mexico at the Atlantic on Tuesday night.

Contact Dante Lima at lima.dante@gmail.com.

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