Itís tempting to focus this brief on the acts opening for Swollen Members tonight at the Domino Room.
For rap fans, this is quite the lineup: Common Market is terrific, thoughtful hip-hop from Seattle that features the endlessly entertaining production of DJ Sabzi of Blue Scholars. The Dirtball is our local dude, a fast-rapping native Bendite who tours the country with his adopted Suburban Noize family.
Bliss N Eso joins the bill all the way from the hip-hop not-so-hotbed of Sydney, Australia, so thatís interesting. And Big Bís got a new track out thatís a collaboration with Scott Russo of California rockers Unwritten Law, and itís a nice mix of acoustic pop and the MCís raspy flow.
But right now, Swollen Members are the big story. The Vancouver, B.C.-based crew has risen from a scrappy, hard-touring rap act to one of underground hip-hopís biggest success stories, and longtime fans can be found online lamenting the groupís move toward the mainstream.
If they donít like it, they should turn away from Swollenís brand new album, ďArmed to the Teeth,Ē which features guest appearances by big names like Talib Kweli, Everlast and Tech N9ne, plus a couple singles that sound ready-made for the radio.
Swollen Members, with Big B, Common Market, The Dirtball and Bliss N Eso ; 8 tonight, doors open 7 p.m.; $18 plus service charges in advance, $20 at the door. Advance tickets available through Ticketswest at www .ticketswest.com, 800-992-8499, and the Safeway at 642 N.E. Third St., in Bend; Domino Room, 51 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; www .randompresents.com.