Echo Party featuring Edan and Ricky Powell
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010
Better Than: Sitting home stoned, drawing cartoons and blasting beats while you watch Lost with the sound down.
Too few music fans see hip-hop as a cultural phenomenon of DIY media and craft. But since it hatched in the South Bronx in the late-'70s, hip-hop's cut-and-paste approach to music, video, and photography has been key to Western pop culture.
Both Boston MC/DJ/producer Edan and veteran NYC street photographer Ricky Powell proudly continue that collage tradition, which made them a great pairing for the resurrection of local DJ Centipede's vaunted underground beat lounge Change the Beat.
This proved to be a night of millions of images and beats, all dating from before the mid-'90s. After Centipede's short set of exotic beats, Powell opened up with a tour-de-force narrated slide show of random shots from the past 27 years of his work. These included simple, evocative snaps of rap stars like Run DMC and Schooly D, celebrities like Andy Warhol and Sandra Bernhardt, and the occasional street-bum or girlfriend. As a legendary East Village man-about-town and the Beastie Boys' first official photographer during their party-fuelled mid-'80s ascent, Powell played a brilliant Uncle Old School to the mostly under-30 crowd in SOM's elegant yet inviting surroundings.