Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Buck 65 / Joe's Pub / Oct. 19, 2004

Buck 65 is my favorite rapper right now. But as he is quick to point out, he doesn’t consider himself a rapper anymore—the rap game hasn’t been too kind to him, and besides, what is this rap shit, really? Folk music. That’s right. Good old fashioned back-porch storytelling. Rich Terfry is a folk singer, bringing his tales of the great Canadian outback to open ears across the land. He’s also totally emo—emo like an old blues singer moaning ‘bout how his baby left him.

Buck didn’t bust out any Woody Guthrie covers this time, but a nagging cold made him sound even more like a crotchety old grandfather than usual. Accompanied only by a MiniDisc full of backing tracks and a pair of turntables, he rambled through most of the “hits” collected on his forthcoming American major label debut This Right Here Is Buck 65. I wanted to jump up and down during “Bandits” and “463,” the rhythms were so propulsive, but Joe’s Pub is such a fancy joint, I didn’t feel comfortable. However, I did bang my head during the song that samples Bad Brains’ “Re-Ignition.”

Apparently, Buck usually performs with a band, and he did look a bit awkward up there all alone. But that only made me like him more. He apologized for being run-down, explaining that he had spent the past week flying back and forth across the country playing shows, while managing to find the time in between to buy an engagement ring and propose marriage to his girlfriend (she said yes—lucky lady!) He also revealed the origins of his stage name, saying that a friend used to compare him to a Buick 65 (smooth, reliable), but when he played his first show, the promoter misspelled “Buick” as “Buck.”

On Monday the 25th from 3 to 5 p.m., Buck will be doing an in-store at Fat Beats. Perhaps I’ll go to that, too.

Also, everybody should check out the video for “463” that's on the Buck 65 site. It’s the greatest baseball-themed music video since… “Glory Days”? That Richard Marx video with Randy Johnson? Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz’ “Put Yo Hood Up”? Oh no wait, that’s kickball.