Kool Keith

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

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