Nappy Roots, Govinda play in Bend
The handful of hit songs by Kentucky hip-hop group Nappy Roots have aged very well.
“Po’ Folks,” “Awnaw,” “Roun’ the Globe” and “Headz Up” are each at least a decade old, but a quick trip through ‘em on YouTube reveals beats, samples, melodies and rhymes that sound as fresh as they did when Nappy Roots was all over the charts, back in 2002 and ’03.
That’s good news if you spun the heck out of the group’s breakthrough album, 2002’s “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz,” back in the day and mainly want to hear songs that remind you of that time of your life; the group performs Friday night at the Domino Room in Bend. If you missed the Nappy Roots boat the first time, around, these guys do good, solid, conscious Southern rap, like Outkast but … y’know … not quite Outkast.
Tonight’s bill is a blend of hip-hop and beat-heavy dance music. Also on the bill is Govinda, an Austin, Texas-based beatmaker who pairs globally flavored electronica with classical violin. Local rap group Those Guys will open, along with local DJs Cymatics and Laidnightly.
Nappy Roots and Govinda, with Those Guys, Cymatics and Laidnightly; 8:30 tonight; $15; the Domino Room, 51 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.j.mp/nappybend.
Mullins performs for Band Together event
Veteran folk-rocker Shawn Mullins will perform Saturday night at the Tower Theatre for the fifth annual Band Together for Scholarships fundraiser for the Bend Surgery Center Foundation.
Mullins is best known for his massive 1999 hit “Lullaby,” though he has scored a few since then, too. In 2006, his song “Beautiful Wreck” reached the top of the Americana charts, and in 2009, a song he co-wrote — the Zac Brown Band’s “Toes” — hit No. 1 on the country charts.
Not bad for a guy who’s mostly remembered for the roller-coaster falsetto chorus of a 15-year-old song! Mullins’ most recent album, by the way, is 2010’s “Light You Up.”
Anyway, besides the concert, there will be silent and live auctions for items from around the Northwest and music-related items, plus “heavy” appetizers and drink tickets included with the purchase of a ticket.
The Bend Surgery Center Foundation aims to encourage and inspire “interested and qualified Central Oregon students to pursue careers in health care by providing funding for educational opportunities,” according to its website.
Shawn Mullins; 6 p.m. Saturday; $39 and $49, plus fees, available through the venue; Tower Theatre, 835 N.W. Wall St., Bend; www.towertheatre .org or 541-317-0700.
The Lowest Pair gets plucky
For many people, the tinny tinkle of a banjo is the canary in the coal mine of “hillbilly music,” a signal to get out before someone starts playing and singing rustic folk and bluegrass music.
But some of us know better: A well-played banjo — especially when paired with a quiet room — is one of the prettiest sounds in music. Naturally plucky and percussive, the banjo sharpens the focus of acoustic roots music with its crisp, clarion tone.
The Lowest Pair employs not one but two banjos on its debut album “36¢,” a breathtakingly gorgeous exercise in minimalist folk pickin’ and heavenly harmonizin’.
Both are done by Kendl Winter (of Washington state and K Records fame) and Palmer T. Lee (of Minnesota and Boys n’ the Barrels), two veteran musicians who formed this band and recorded these songs not long after. The result is intense and urgent, but quiet and folksy.
If you’re reading this, consider it your duty to keep the back-of-the-room chattering class quiet when The Lowest Pair plays McMenamins Old St. Francis School. They deserve everyone’s attention.
The Lowest Pair; 7 p.m. Thursday; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www .mcmenamins.com .
— Ben Salmon
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected. The Nappy Roots show was moved to a different location after publication. The Bulletin regrets the error.