Doctor Madd Vibe, Tall, Dark & Lonesome Emo's, January 21

Live Shots

Doctor Madd Vibe, Tall, Dark & Lonesome

Emo's, January 21

With all the over-the-top humor and fervent energy he poured into his former role as vocalist/ saxophonist/stage-jumping madman for seminal punk-ska group Fishbone, Angelo Moore took the stage at Emo's as spoken-word artist Dr. Madd Vibe. Saxophone in hand and uncounted rhymes lined up between brain and mouth, he stormed a seemingly unprepared crowd for over two hours with a stream of rhyme and consciousness that was dazzling to behold. The opening performance by Tall, Dark & Lonesome, aka Jerm Pollett, proceeded more with the pace and demeanor of Jonathan Richman than that of Pollett's former ska group Gal's Panic, but he did fire off some great stories, including investigations into the humorous impropriety of the Trojan as condom-seller and finding Jesus in fast food and HEB. The crowd was paying attention, but apparently Dr. Madd Vibe, seated at the bar for much of TDL's show, saw an audience not caught up enough, because after his own first number, a sax-laced rant on the subject of "Me," he discarded the microphone and got down on center stage, speaking low about the "Desired Undesirable," and pulled almost everyone in the room to within earshot by the magnetism of his words alone. And for the most part, they stayed there, responding in kind for "Optimistic Yes!" and "Pessimistic No!," Madd Vibe's material issued from his CD and books of poetry, Dr. Madd Vibe's Comprehensive Linkology, which he barely found time to plug from the stage. Tales of "Nate Procrasto and Tina On-Time" and of "Jah-Jah on the Telephone" were all told in dauntless rhyme, a convention Madd Vibe would not relinquish throughout this set, even during frenetic rants on "Shit" and TV ("Black Box") and what goes around coming around big in "Karma Tsunami." Misogynist at times, thoroughly paranoid at others, Madd Vibe also dwelled on titty bars and government plots throughout, though any insurrection was quickly quelled by an audience held rapt by rhyme. It was the rhythm, the cadence, that held us all spellbound, and Dr. Madd Vibe had more of this working than any slam or spoken word collective I've seen.

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