Aside from maybe Mark E. Smith, there are few musicians more inscrutably pissed off than Keith Thornton—and for good reason. The Ultramagnetic MCs could've been huge (and to hardcore hip-hop fans, they were), but they debuted in 1988, having to wrangle for boombox space with a dozen other rap classics, and their follow-up took four years to materialize, killing much of their potential momentum. And even though Kool Keith later found a significant following going solo as the morbidly surreal college-radio favorite Dr. Octagon, he eventually got tired of being entirely associated with that single facet of his hip-hop persona and murdered his alter ego on wax in 1999 under the name Dr. Dooom. The attempted resuscitation, The Return of Dr. Octagon, resulted in a label-meddled album Keith wasn't happy with, which inspired the bitter, angry—and hilarious—2008 album Dr. Dooom 2, a slept-on fuck-the-industry record with his sharpest lyrics in a decade and typically bugged-out production from Kutmasta Kurt. But just to keep you guessing, Keith likes to bring every aspect of his personality and his 20-plus-year hip-hop career to his shows; expect anything from "Give the Drummer Some" to "Sex Style" to "Simon"—and maybe even Octagon joints like "Earth People" or "Blue Flowers"...death notwithstanding. With Omaur Bliss. 18+.
Thu., April 16, 8 p.m., 2009