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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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North Texas Daily review of LBDP Tour show  Reply with quote

Francis raps up spoken word
Rhode Island artist knocks rap, inspired by rock

Michael Walter
Staff Writer
February 11, 2003

Many a band has played Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore St., but after Friday's show, that small club past the railroad tracks might never be the same.Rhode Island-based rapper Sage Francis, whose trademark style seamlessly blends spoken word poetry with hip-hop, performed a phenomenal set in front of a packed house Friday night, with Denton's DJ Rerog, Gruvis Malt and C. R. Avery opening.Rerog and Gruvis Malt were both entertaining, but Avery's was the first great performance of the night.The Canadian songwriter played exceptionally well, beatboxing his way through a cover of Tom Waits' "Big in Japan" and reciting a handful of inspired poems.At one point, he even sat down behind a small piano, crooning like Randy Newman.With Gruvis Malt backing him and a microphone in hand, Francis finally took the stage at about 11:30 p.m., kicking off a superb set that included a number of songs from his debut album, Personal Journals, a prank phone call to his old landlord and a hilarious spoof of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."Despite growing up listening exclusively to early hip-hop acts, Francis has all but given up on the genre."I only listen to rock now," he said. "Hip-hop has become real meaningless to me, real diluted."Another reason for Francis' recent fascination with heavier music is a fear of crippling his own creativity."For me to be so involved with hip-hop, it would almost be incestuous to listen to [it]," he said.Fortunately, this has expanded his sound greatly, resulting in songs such as "Makeshift Patriot," which features both distorted guitars and a loud, chanted chorus.Francis even looked the part of a rock star, performing the song with an American flag draped over his shoulders as he raised his fist high in the air.Whether he's poking fun at President George W. Bush or expressing his distaste for mainstream rappers, Francis' lyrics and poems are always from the heart; something that is sadly becoming more and more uncommon in the rap community.
Post Sat Mar 08, 2003 3:00 am
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Joined: 07 Mar 2003
Posts: 126
Location: Burlington, VT
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And of course, I wasn't there to see it....good job sage and keep it up
Post Sat Mar 08, 2003 11:19 am
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