Why You Should Love Ke$ha, Lazerbeak's Lavabangers, and More

Categories: In Print

From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

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Ke$ha! Dig it!
Why You Should Love Kesha: Here's a picture of Ke$ha. We know what you're thinking. It's either "Oh dear God, no!" or "Damn! Girl needs a wash!" And both of these are valid responses. Ke$ha is one of the most polarizing artists in pop music for a bunch of reasons. Among them: She's heavily reliant on music's biggest enemy -- Auto-Tune; she seems to write her lyrics with the aid of a rhyming dictionary; and she also appears to bathe regularly in a combination of cooking oil and glitter. Did we mention that her appearance on Saturday Night Live in April 2010 was (unintentionally) funnier than most of the sketches? There were dancing spacemen and a cape involved, in case you missed it. She even did the Robot with a straight face.

But let's take a step back from the tacky anthems, horrifying wardrobe, and white-girl rapping, and consider the good things about Ke$ha. Because, yes -- if you can suppress your gut reactions, left coast snobbery, and gag reflex -- there are some.

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Lazerbeak
Lazerbeak, King of the Lavabangers: Thank your favorite deity for Aaron Mader's deficiencies. If the teenaged, head-over-heels-for-hip-hop Mader hadn't sucked at dancing, hadn't been uncomfortable with rapping, and hadn't been scared of getting into trouble for spraying graffiti, the world might have never known his enviable skills as a beatmaker. "I wanted something to contribute to [hip-hop]," says the ever-affable Mader, who produces under the alias of Lazerbeak. "It seemed like if there was anything I could do, I knew music, because I had been doing it for so long that I had an ear for it."

"So long" is a pretty apt choice of words to describe his commitment. The Minneapolis-bred Mader began singing and playing guitar in the Plastic Constellations when he was around 13, sticking with it for more than a decade until the indie-rock act went on hiatus in 2008. Sometime in junior high, his interest in hip-hop began to blossom, owing greatly to the Roots' classic Things Fall Apart.

Also, we recommend shows from Atmosphere, Fist Fam, Crystal Stilts, and Errors.

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