Tuesday, September 17, 2019Light Snow -5°C

Drive It, Beat It, Rock It, Love It

Posted by Robyn / September 29, 2005

Busdriver and TTC at Club Soda, Sept 28, 2005

What do I know about music? Some stuff. What do I know about the music I saw tonight? Not very much. Did it matter? Hell, no. Did I like it? Damn straight. I mean: Fucking Awesome!!

Busdriver, from LA, began his show by shouting, "Are we gonna have fun? We're gonna have fun!", which you might think is a slice of cheese, but it was some genuine love and enthusiasm. The guy is a pro, a wit and a maybe even a gentleman. And smart, nice n' intelligent. Some might call it nerd rap, but it's also manic, sometimes auctioneer-fast mc-ing. I would tell you what it's all about, but I only caught a third - what I did catch made me want the record. Yes, there's the back-and-forth with the audience, like "What's my name?!" "Busdriver!" but then he jokes, "It's like Mike Jones. But not." and switches up the tracks (and good tracks they are). I believe that was the moment I declared my love. Yes, we did have fun.

So in the break I got a look at the fine audience. All judgment is kind of random, so I went with Midnight Poutine's random choice of (mock?) judgment: headgear.

Low trucker hat count: less than 5. But a lot of baseball hats, some with xtra long brims. A few toques with tiny brims. One pseudo-beret. And a few xxxx-tshirts, either white or black. A lot of just-bought TTC "extra-flash" t-shirts: two shades of orange! White lettering with silver outline! TTC!!! And then they were on stage, to much whooping and other forms of joy, fully upholding their own lyrics (here in rough translation, obv.):

"When the TTC guys come to the club,
With their posse
Half thugs, half nerds, suddenly all the chicks
Feel something strange in their hearts."

TTC hip-hops/pops/rocks/electros it all up via the Frenchmen that are: Teki Latex, Tido Berman, Cuizinier, Para One, Tacteel and DJ Orgasmic. I'm not even going to pretend I understood more than 1/8th of what was going on lyrics-wise, but I'm going to pretend I made up for it with my body-language interpretation skillz. So: there's the smoove guy, the big nerd guy, and the gangsta guy, and the dj guy in the back (and the other guys come and go, it seems.) All of them are awesome in their own right and there's respect for it. And when each of them takes off their shirts and whips them around their heads in a sweat-spray frenzy, there's more respect. Teki's got a belly, but whatever. Gangsta dude's got his pants down past his ass, and smoove guy, well, I'm thinking he was maybe too smoove to take his shirt all the way off. Or even sweat. Rap a mile a minute in French though, check for all of 'em.

So TTC is nice package of complexity without the annoying reflexivity: you want them to be gangsters? They're gangsters. Smooth operators? Then that works too. Nerds? They aim to please. Fun? Totally. Talented? Yes. A little bit crazy? For sure. I think the title of their album kind of says it all: Sensitive Bastards. (And after reading a loose translation of their lyrics, well, let's just say there's a song about being understanding about menstruation ("Du sang sur la dancefloor") and a couple songs about banging sluts and bitches.) But, no matter what they are, their show made me dance with a smile on my face as it built its way up to a frenzy, hands in the air, jeunes filles up on stage, Teki whipping his striped polo shirt off, and finally a bizarre/awesome call-and-response: "Qu'est-qu'on mange ce soir? Dit moi!" The answer came near the end: "Poutine! (hahaha!)" Honest. I felt a oneness.

Busdriver - Fear of a Black Tangent [Mush; 2005]
TTC - Batards Sensibles [Big Dada; 2005]

Other Cities: Toronto