Concert previews: Talib Kweli & Dogs Die in Hot Cars

THURSDAY
Talib Kweli w/Saul Williams
9:30 Club $25

Talib Kweli, whose name means “student of truth,” lives up to this title on his recent effort The Beautiful Struggle, an effortlessly smart and infectious album that sends one hand to the air and the other to the encyclopedia. You’ve probably heard Kweli name-checked by a mainstream rapper grasping for intellectual credibility (I’m looking at you, Jay-Z), and there’s good reason. Kweli has been dropping insightful rhymes since 1998, when he and Mos Def came together as Black Star to create an album of the same name that became the blueprint for progressive hip-hop. Always a critical darling, his Kanye West-produced “Get By” from 2002’s Quality garnered massive attention (it was West’s best track at Spring Fling last year, and Kweli wasn’t even there to sing it) since then he’s become a mainstream force. He namedrops from high culture to the low with equal ease. Who else do you know that rhymes about Transformers on an album named after a component of Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa movement? Although Kweli writes dissertations, not songs, he possesses amazing flow to complement his Ph.D. lyrics. But just because he rocks the mic like Richard Wright doesn’t mean he can’t make you move like Rakim.

-Jeffrey Parker

FRIDAY
Dogs Die in Hot Cars w/Delegate
9:30 club, Free
21 and over

Crowned by NME with the dubious title “the worst band name in the history of music,” Dogs Die in Hot Cars brings its intelligent, chirpy style all the way from Fife, Scotland. Drummer Laurence Davey told The Hatchet he doesn’t mind the fact that his eccentric pop group has found itself lumped in with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, but that DDIHC has “taken a different approach. We’re moving in a more organic way, growing at our own pace.”

Davey recounted his first concert with the band, which occured nearly 14 years ago. “It was the Redding festival,” he said. “We had to get permission off of our parents. We were eight hours in the train and we got there and the (Red Hot) Chili Peppers were headlining – one of our favorite bands. We were blown away.”

While DDIHC has never been compared to the Chili Peppers, they have been likened to Dexy’s Midnight Runners, famous for their single “Come on Eileen.” Frontman Macintosh replied, “I could see why people say there are similarities, but I’d heard ‘Come On Eileen’ before, and I hate it. When people started saying we sound like Dexys I thought, ‘Oh my god, they’re saying I sound like the band that wrote the song I hate the most in the world.’ It’s really, really, horrible.”

-Juliet Moser

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