Eyes of the Elders tonight at the Neighborhood Theatre
EYES OF THE ELDERS Like The Roots, Charlotte hip-hop mainstays Eyes of the Elders back their politically aware rap with live instruments. It’s a throwback to the heady days of pioneering MCs, when provocative rhymes sat atop a magpie’s cache of rock, funk and blues. At the same time, EOE are a jump into the future, folding classical influences, eastern-tinged psychedelia and Widespread Panic stoner-isms into their hip-hop soufflé. Without showboating or swagger, MCs Ricky Radar and Bearcat deliver lyrical wordplay that is by turns fiery and compassionate. The live backing is all over the map, while keeping touch with EOE’s forebears. “Glutton for the Button” boasts haunting violin that harkens back to prog-rockers Curved Air. Reggae shuffle “Occupy” pitches barbs at the Tea Party’s “patriotic patriots suspended in animation” with loping keyboards that would do Studio One maestro Jackie Mittoo proud, while “Dance Lies Stars” features Austin Hill’s plaintive R&B croon about the broadcasted bullshit we use daily to amuse ourselves to death. Expect EOE’s stage show to incorporate found footage in the style of last October’s raucous and committed “Occupy” video during the Media Blackout at Neighborhood Theatre. With BPL and Unknown Users. $10. Sept. 7, 9:30 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. 704-358-9298.