Perhaps you recall local rap group Das Racist’s disastrous-cum-triumphant stand at Cameo Gallery back in early February, when the duo “performed” the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique by alternately rapping along to the CD and antagonizing the crowd by just sort of lying supine on the stage, not doing very much at all? Depending on where you sat, it was either pretty effective performance art or a complete disaster (even the media was split, ahem)–but as we said then, and say again now, the idea that something had occurred that was anything but what was supposed to have occurred was crazy. And, in a clever little gesture to the haters, Das Racist stopped by Elliot Aronow’s live-action public-access TV Party-revival Our Show recently–perhaps you remember the clip from an earlier show that circulated last week with comedian Max Silvestri “interviewing” Ted Leo?–to do the Beasties’ “Sabotage.” Well, we might add. Like, really well.
The group of musicians backing them here is Our Show house band Hisham and the Harsh Tokes, led by Soft Circle’s Hisham Bharoocha and featuring current and ex- members of USAISAMONSTER, Liturgy, and Silk Flowers. And yeah, sorry, the conversation about whether or not these dudes can rap when they actually feel like rapping should be pretty much over–this is the real deal punk rock treatment of a song that’d be corny if you did it any other way. Respect–now can we get that new mixtape or what? Finally, as we read over our archives, we can’t help but feel like we played a role here. From February 2, in defense of Das Racist at Cameo Gallery:
“Not-really-rapping-beastie-boys-and-mostly-throwing-shit-around-the-stage-while-people-walked-out,” went one review that got sent our way. Fair enough. New York was also baffled. Pictures more or less confirm the story. But let’s take a moment here. This was not All Tomorrow’s Parties. My Bloody Valentine was not going to walk though that door and perform Loveless. Das Racist are two and sometimes three pranksters who are very serious about what they do but what they do is not necessarily a serious thing–they rap and they tell jokes and though they’re sick of hearing about it, the reason you know about them at all was because of a gag rap about fast food. So they were gonna get onstage and do what, exactly? Have you heard Paul’s Boutique? They were supposed to bow down and perform “Sabotage” for an encore? Let them live.
So yeah, whaddya know, they eventually did perform “Sabotage.” Let them live. More Our Show clips coming soon, we hear, including something Aronow and crew taped at this same show last week with TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone. As ever, watch the internet for more. It’s basically what public-access TV is now anyway.