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Echo Park

Yo Majesty & Chow Nasty ~ LIVE @ The Echo ~ Echo Park Records

3:46 PM PST on February 19, 2007

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Echo Park Records founder and TACO special forces-jefe Alexis "Padaro" Rivera blossomed into manhood last week, discovering hair where there had been no hair before, and finding himself stirred by strange feelings of arousal caused by his more attractive peers.

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The aforementioned occasion was marked at The Echo with the boy working his ass off to put on a typically undefinable show, memorable by even the most loaded of us. Rivera has come a long way since his days in tiny red shorts, playing Neptune, King of the Sea with me in the bathtub as a child (well, he was a child, I was 19).

He's now a local music lord and Echo Park staple; uniter and decider of the town's most engaging bookings with acts such as Los Super Elegantes, Peanut Butter Wolf, Very Be Careful, Blues chantuese Mickey Champion, Blood Arm, Peaches, Los Lobos, The Libertines, Ozomatli, Junior Senior, Stryper, Dio, Black Street, Toby Keith, Tiny Tim, Toto, Titos Jackson and Santana, plus Donnie Walberg poster signings, all across the city.

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Said skills were on display as the birthday boy's pals Chow Nasty hit the stage having cruised down from the Bay Area to tear up The Echo like men possesed. From the opening chord, the boys were relentless in constructing trippy, hard-rockin' soul music that had the front rows shuffling and jumping with proverbial ants in their proverbial pants. Chow Nasty could be the first jam band that doesn't make you feel like a smelly piece-of-crud hippie.

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Their guitars grind dirty like John Spencer's and Damon Harriss' voice careens, moans, and cries like a barely more stable Iggy Pop.

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Their more sophisticated sounds come from chanted choruses, deep, funky-ass bass lines ripped from some long-gone surf rock, furious conga drums, a skilled trombone/cowbell player, and a crazed one-man band hitting up all kinds of noisemakers and blowing harmonica like a rockhead on O-Dawg.

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Recognizing he can't very well just march up into our shit with Giants gear on, Harris repped the Lakers on his old-school golden tee, just like the time I spied Puff Daddy in Dodger gear in Beverly Hills. I once had to see Live in concert at some festival, and at Live shows, there's always some highly choreographed moment when the singer falls to his knees, but Harriss is literally heaving and hoeing in Les Claypool-esque lifted-leg spasms, flying off the speakers, setting up shop on the dancefloor, and marching jerkily in place while everyone from the bass player to our old friend harmonica guy flail around crazily on their backs and knees, still hitting every note perfectly.

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In fact, every member of Chow Nizzle were all sweaty and flying across the stage, their minds surely driven insane by the cruel, dark demons of rock. I'd never seen Chow Nasty live before, they fucking rule.

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Next, Yo Majesty, three lovely queens from the ghettos of Tampa, Florida, took the stage to wile out hardcore. After introducing themselves with lusciously dirty chatter, that Luke Skywalker-spawned, Florida booty-shakin' vibe dropped over the speakers and the girls started spitting perverted courses in unison and showed no backing down.

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Taking it back to the sticky streets of their hometown, the girls rode scuzzy electric gangsta vibes with tough skills about their sexual prowess and all-around badassness, building and building the energy until it literally exploded and had the crowd mashing it up, on and off the stage. Killing it with verbal rap jousts and also singing with full heart, their swagger and raw fury could easily have them seducing the crowd at a Rage Against the Machine show as easily as they can enrapture a thugged out crowd or Echo Park music fiends thirsty for new sounds.

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Yo Majesty have attitude and truly do not give a fuck. While firing themselves up over bangers with a "Fuck that shit, Fuck that shit," call-n-response, and thrusting and riding funked-up guitar riffs on lines from Kryptonite Pussy like, "U got that pie makeanigga wanna cry", center-holding Jewel B. tore her shirt from her back and proceeded to rap with punk-rock anger and head-banging energy, spitting rhymes with her massive titties swaying mere feet above the crowd's crowns.

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Delivering soon-to-be classics with crazy vocal skills that have the trio harmonizing, speeding up, slowing down, and getting the crowd pogoing, these hoes know how to party before, during, and after the show, and during their first trip to Cali, they say they love it out here, so we can't wait to see them back.

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Echo Park Records resident DJ Travis manned the wheels in between acts, warming the floor up with frenetic grooves and soul-spiked rock. Here he is shooting us that Colgate smile.

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Inglewood's legendary DJ Arabian Prince, aka Professor X, formerly of N.W.A., took the staggering, pelvis-throttling house back to the old school with classic rap tracks from the 80's and 90's, sporadic raggamuffin chatta, and throw-backs to Leon Haywood and Curtis Mayfield. Homie also has a blazing hot girl who stands by his side and just looks cool, and makes him look cooler than he already does, all NWA-style in a clean white tee and jet-black fitted.

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The room went even more buck once Yo Majesty left the stage and joined in the breakdown, with sopping bodies flying across the floor, jumping around, and freaking n' stuff.

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The Yo Majesty girls are pretty hot offstage and are full of loving hugs for fans, managing to keep the high energy gully.

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The crowd danced 'til those cop shields closed shop and Arabian Prince's efforts to slow feet down with a dip into "Without Love" was met with ferocious acceptance by a crowd with no fear of irony. Spilling out into the street, Yo Majesty, on the hunt for pum-pum and kali, quickly threw the after-party together at a neighboring TACO safehouse whose steps nearly killed Jewel B.

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Although heavily damaging our sack from Shunda's Dutches and our puny arms passing a Correlejo bottle that weighed as much as two dead babies, we partied late into the wee hours, until Jewel B's socks were sticking out of the mattress, Shunda was off getting some tail, and I was conceding badly desired couch space to the crown-wielding Shon B. and some girl passed out on the other sofa for the comforts of TACO's commando reconnaisance vehicle.

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Fun fun fun, despite shattering, splintering headaches in the morning! I have a feeling both groups and the many friends put out their very best in honor of Alexis' ass. Happy birthday, Snr. Rivera, may you have many many more!!

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You know you want some of that chow nasty na-na...

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