Kid Koala/DJ Jester/Kush Wonder/Blac Soap @ The Crowbar

The Crowbar had Kid Koala, DJ Jester The Filipino Fist, Blac Soap, Kush Wonder, Low Top LEE, eFFeX, Positive Response, DJ Mega and Business Casual all throwing down an insane show last Thursday night. This was the second to last stop on Kid Koala's tour before he heads home to take care of his actual kid.

The whole show was incredible, everybody put on really cool performances. The Crowbar, which used to be located in a smaller place near The Orpheum moved into a larger space across the street from GameWorks and Centro Ybor a while ago. It's a really cool venue even though the standing room is limited.

Positive Response and DJ Mega were spinning music out in the courtyard with some really good funk and hip-hop stuff, keeping people entertained between sets.

The main stage started off with Kush Wonder (pic) doing his ambient trip-hop stuff, mixing between laptop samples and turntable scratches. Low Top LEE (pic) a friend of my buddy Joey came up for part of his set to do a bit of wordsmithing. He had some fairly complex rhymes, sounded good.

Next up was eFFeX, a really prolific local beatboxer. He did put together vocal beats, cuts and scratches for what felt like a full twenty minutes, nonstop. To get the full effect he had to keep the mic right up to his mouth, and my friends joked that if he needed to lip-sync he coule probably get away with it. When he was finished he just grabbed his drink and coat and left the stage. Just think, the only equipment you need as a beatboxer is liquid and maybe a mic/PA system. Travel light!

After eFFeX was Blac Soap (pic), a local hip-hop duo. At first their production didn't sound that great, but then they pulled out a six minute tribute to doing a girl raw and we lost it. My friend grabbed a promo just to get that song. I wish I could remember some of those rhymes.

DJ Jester The Filipino Fist @ The CrowbarDJ Jester looking EVIL!

Now for the big guns. DJ Jester The Filipino Fist put out his album Secret Love a couple of years ago and I read about it in Giant Robot. The cover is pretty hilarious. He mixes everything on his album, mashing together songs that don't fit logically but sound great. On stage he's no different. He went from Beck to Bob Dylan to Bjork to Dolly Parton. He even played 50 Cent's "In Da Club" over a twangy county instrumental. I tried to record it but my camera's mic gets overwhelmed with bass at concerts. Jester comes from Texas, and Kid Koala decided to tour with him when Jester secretly slipped a copy of his CD in his bag during a gig. As he was driving to the next show Koala nearly ran into a tree listening to Secret Love because he was laughing so damn hard.

Kid Koala @ The CrowbarKid Koala transitioned in after DJ Jester delving deep into his twitchy turntable madness right off the line. His real name is Eric San, and if you've never seen or heard him before prepare for your jaw to drop, fall off, tumble down the stairs roll out the door and into the street. I've heard he's been mixing since he was a kid, and when I talked to him before the show he said he started off with just one turntable and a tape deck. (That's also when I got him to sign the picture of Gizmo up there, thanks Eric!)

He basically treats the turntables like a real instrument with his scratches and fader tweaking, and has the uncanny ability to perfectly cue up samples and beats without using headphones. He popularized the style of dragging out notes to create melodies with his song "Drunk Trumpet". During the show he pulled off not only that song but a rework of "Moon River" where he actually played a melody by dropping the needle all over the record while tweaking the speed. Here he is playing "gimme a k!" off of Your Mom's Favorite DJ, watch out it's loud and my mic sucks:

Koala has worked with legends like DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Amon Tobin, Dan The Automator and backed people from Del Tha Funkee Homosapien to Gorillaz. He lives in Montreal and he's been popular since 1996 when he put out a mixtape called Scratchcratchratchatch. He also draws comics and along with Monkmus and Jonathan Ng he produced some really cool music videos: Fender Bender, Basin Street Blues and Floor Kids.

Kid Koala @ The Crowbar
The show blew the collective minds of the audience. At one point he had all four turntables going, scratching and fading so fast it was like watching a madman trying to stack marbles. He took a break midway to referee a thumb war between DJ Jester and someone from the audience using an authentic thumb wrestling ring. You can check out a few more of my photos from the show here. During the show Kid Koala thanked everyone for being so live and friendly saying how much better the crowd was than his previous show in Gainesville. Suck it Gainesville! YEAH! SUCK IT!