Rock The Bells After Party/Frank151 Book Release Party at the Underbar, Boston, MA.
July 26, 2007
All photos by Alison Vaughn

There's a video camera with a big booming light affixed on top making its way around the club.  Two gents, one with the camera, and the other with a microphone, are scuttling around the semi-sparse Underbar, getting quotes from the locals about what they think of mega cool mega brand Frank 151.  

You see, Frank done did it again.  Beyond their coffee sales, their rolling paper business cards, their clothing line, and their by-appointment-only barber shop in lower Manhattan, they are, in their essence a publication company.  And the Karma Loopers, Future Classicists, and Bodegans had all gathered to help celebrate Frank's 29th release of its internationally renown urban (sub)culture magazine.   This particular edition, entitled "Lost Angels" was curated by Mr. Cartoon and Estevan Oriol, a.k.a. the design department of the Soul Assassins. Photography, graffiti, comic strips, and tattoo stories fill out this issue, which has a very specific Los Angeles focus.

So why celebrate a New York-based magazine's issue about L.A. with a party in Boston?  Well, it just so happens that the Frank 151 brand has been traveling with a little thing called the Rock The Bells Tour -- a hip-hop festival in the vain of Lollapalooza -- which boasts a line-up that includes Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Cypress Hill, and Talib Kweli to name a few.  The RTB tour landed at the Tweeter Center on Thursday night, so it only seemed appropriate to host an after party and conjoin it with a book release party in the lush loungey environs of Boston's Theatre District.

Frank 151 brought with them two stellar djs – Synapse and Large Professor - to move the party in the right direction.   Boston native DJ Synapse took the early shift, bumping the typical hip-hop fare.  The night was still young, and if it were to turn into something, anything resembling a "party", he needed to entice the revelers with familiar faves.   Unfortunately, by the time he got around to the divine "React" by the dynamic duo of Redman and Erick Sermon, it was fairly evident that there wasn't going to be much reaction from the crowd on this night.

The legendary Large Professor stepped to the decks a little after midnight and he mobilized the Pioneer CDJ set-up into a Musicology 101 lesson.   Large Pro's dj set had a purpose.  His song selection had a very determined and distinguished flare versus his opener.   He started with a solid foundation, spinning elementarily old soul, r & b, and funk instrumentals, while occasionally blending in a little Marvin Gaye vocals.  He gradually built up the vibe, moving into Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash's "White Lines", stressing the killer bassline that is nearly impossible not to move to.   And yet, the whispers of wisdom seemed lost on the party people, save for a few damsels whose enthusiasm brought them up upon some platforms reserved for boogie down sessions.

By last call, the soiree simmered into a chill-time affair, despite the bumping beats.  Large Professor, in a perhaps last ditch effort, even extended an olive branch to the Bostonians, playing "Skills" by hometown hero Guru and his group Gang Starr.   But the hit track could not fell the conversations at the bar. 

Are there no true heroes or heroines amongst the party-time populous? Or are they all too tuckered out from attending an 8 hour hip-hop extravaganza earlier in the day?   This is Boston, not New York, and certainly not L.A. --  and, it's summer.  In humid late July, RSVP-only nights at secret unadvertised clubs with a vague focus just might be the wrong formula for this town.

--Mac Carroll

| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
OTD Categories
VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys at the House of Blues
Rare Frequencies: Trouble and treble
Lady Lee's Lion's Den Playlist
HOMEWORK: Assignment #2: D-Tension
Ticket On-Sale Alert: Muse, Mariah Carey, Black Eyed...
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
Bradley’s Almanac -
Band in Boston -
Wayne & Wax -
Aurgasm -
Anti-Gravity Bunny -
Clicky Clicky -
Soul Clap -
Lemmingtrail -
Jump the Turnstyle -
Loaded Gun -
Vanyaland -
Ryan's Smashing Life -
Boston Band Crush -
Sleepover Shows -
Boston Accents -
Pilgrims of Sound -
Allston Rat City -
Playground Boston -
I Heart Noise -
On The Download Archives