The First Sounds of Summer

Too Short, tha Dogg Pound, Hiatus Kaiyote and Action Bronson hit Memorial Day Weekend

Action Bronson | Photo by Alexander Richter

Action Bronson | Photo by Alexander Richter

I’ve never blamed violence in music, video games or Hollywood for the horrendous shit that happens in real life. I do, however, hold one man accountable for my less than Crest-fresh mouth. I was 5 when my oldest brother brought home Too Short’s Life Is … Too Short on cassette. Latchkey kids that we were, my brother played the tape relentlessly and without consequence (shout out to hard-working immigrant parents). Impressionable child that I was, I found myself rapping along to “CussWords,” the lyrics forever ingrained in my memory (even if I didn’t know what they meant at the time). The phrase “Motherfucking shit God damn asshole” probably shouldn’t recall one’s childhood, but I’ll be reminiscing while reciting those exact words, along with the lyrics to “Don’t Fight the Feelin’,” when Short Dog performs the classic album in its entirety at Brooklyn Bowl on May 24.

That night packs a West Coast double dose with Tha Dogg Pound performing its 1995 debut Dogg Food in its entirety, as well. The tag team of Kurupt and Daz were introduced on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that they really made their presence known, dropping East Coast diss track “New York, New York”—the shots in the song were subtle, the video of a giant Snoop Dogg knocking down skyscrapers was not. Although they’ve released several albums together and separately, Dogg Food remains their magnum opus. It wasn’t as successful as Doggystyle or The Chronic but the album is still regarded as a quintessential G-Funk era release. It still gets love today, with YG having reworked “Let’s Play House” for his 2014 single “Do It To Ya.”

Nostalgia aside, there are a couple of other shows on my must-see list.

Live performances at Insert Coin(s) are few and far between, but they sure as hell know how to pick them when they have them. Grammy-nominated Australian future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote makes its way to the Fremont Street barcade in support of its recently released Choose Your Weapon. Expect the band to unload its arsenal of sounds, each song a multi-genre trip that bursts and blooms with beautiful grooves. You might take an uptempo psychedelic excursion on “By Fire.” Or you might catch an African rhythm on “Jekyll,” only for it to be overtaken by synths and capped with funk, with singer Nai Palm’s soulful vocals hovering above it all. And, really, what better setting is there to hear a song called “Atari?”

Exuberant, outrageous and heavily bearded New York emcee Action Bronson brings his Mr. Wonderful tour to House of Blues on Memorial Day (May 25) with pals Meyhem Lauren and Alchemist in tow. Brosolino, as he refers to himself, has a penchant for over-the-top lyrics (Had a midget Puerto Rican at my beck and call/Best believe that there was neck involved) and wacky food and sports references that don’t make any sense (Chuck Knoblauch/Spicy coconut curry from the Thai spot). If you’ve seen any of his music videos or his web series Fuck, That’s Delicious, then you know his live show will be nothing short of entertaining.

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