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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/30/2005

Rhome's 2005 CD Picks

By Rhome Anderson

I buy a lot of music. Sometimes there's so much of it crowding my shelves that I don't get around to listening to new things for months. But these two purchases managed to stay in constant rotation even when other anticipated CDs collected dust on their shrink-wrap.

Favorite Local Record of the Year: Priest da Nomad - "Mr. Moov Sumthin'"
A common and stereotypical analysis ascribes substance to the hip-hop underground and style to the commercial realm. Plainly spoken, the indie kids will give you some food for thought but they won't get the party crunk like the mainstream rap superstars. Priest's "Mr. Moov Sumthin'" smacks down this sort of categorization. Priest has made audiences shed tears at shows with "A Prayer for Lena", a song about seeking divine assistance to guide the parenting of his infant daughter. He elicits knowing chuckles with "Wrong Side of The Bed," a litany of frustrations that could have been the theme for Michael Douglas in the film "Falling Down." The well-developed themes and witty word craft are spread over beats thick enough to rattle the trunk of the most devoted connoisseur of the boom. He's even gotten some run on WPGC-FM with "The Carryout", a club-banger on which Priest teams with Raheem Devaughn and W. Ellington Felton to extol the virtues of mackin' on a budget. This is the most complete record to come out of the D.C. hip-hop scene

Favorite Non-local Record of the Year: The Rebirth - "This Journey In"
This album almost surgically grafted my iPod to my dome. The lead single in this collection of slick, organic, jazz-influenced soul had been buzzing on the international tastemaker radar over the last couple of years, being extolled by Gilles Peterson, Garth Trinidad and the like. The band was touring internationally off the strength of that one song before even dropping the second single. Then 2005 brought "This Journey In," an album for people who love singing at the top of their lungs while carving out a healthy chunk of the dancefloor for themselves. The Rebirth has got all the elements of a classic soul band whose music is kinetic rather than cerebral: tightly locked rhythm guitar, syncopated funk bass, Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer interplay, breakdowns, changes and killer hooks. Roy Ayers could fit right in on vibes as his influence weaves throughout the album's eleven tracks. This was my Christmas gift for folks who weren't aware that grown-up yet fun soul music was still alive in 2005.

-- Rhome

By Rhome Anderson  | December 30, 2005; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Hello, I am not looking for a forum in which to complain, but rather to warn readers. I went with a group of friends to the Argonaut this past Saturday night and was immediately taken by the fun bar scene that has so unexpectedly cropped up on H Street. A huge carrell of chalk was placed on our table and we thought this was so much fun! What a breath of fresh air to the normal stuffy DC bars we were all used to going to. Unfortunately, after we drew on the walls (which were an unfinished paint) our waiter asked us not to draw on the wall. We were very apologetic and quickly erased our artwork with some water. Since they had given us chalk, we figured it would be okay to at least write on the table, which we did. As we got up to leave, another patron started arguing with us about our lack of disrespect for the bar (and then the neighborhood, which we all have lived in for at least five years) by drawing on the table. We imhmediately apologized and said we thought the chalk meant we could be creative and we immediately started to rub away our artwork. The girl and then the waiter immediately started arguing with us and giving us an incredibly hard time until they forced us out. They said we didn't belong in the neighborhood and were everything that is wrong with Capitol Hill. I will never go back to the Argonaut until I receive an apology from the owner because of the terrible treatment my friends and I received. I would warn folks from going there as well, for fear of attack.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2006 2:43 AM | Report abuse

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