Boston is home to too few public art spaces, and precious few get any national attention. But Harvard Square’s most prominent example — the video kiosk that greets subway visitors at the T stop — is a glaring exception. The exhibit is curated by LUMEN ECLIPSE, a music-forward video-art group spearheaded by RORY KEOHANE. Each month the group showcases eight video shorts, many of which have music at their center. “We wanted to see if we could bring good work into a more public space,” says Keohane. “Like the middle of the street.”
DJ Rugged One
For years, Keohane was the music guru at River Gods, the home-town tavern in Cambridgeport. But his video talents have taken him elsewhere. He directs videos for bands like American Analog Set — bands who don’t mind taking a back seat to the eye candy. “The videos we host are not the usual type of live-performance music video. It’s not ‘Look at me, we’re a band, we’re a band, we’re a band.’ ” As the American Anolog Set video suggests, Keohane isn’t just working locally. “We post all over the Web, and we get a lot of submissions. At least a handful a day.” Most recently, his company accepted a video from Malajube, a Canadian quintet, but Lumen has exhibited video art from acts like Lambchop, Mum, and Antony and the Johnsons. “Music provides a structure and a collaboration that lends itself really well for this type of media. It provides a good counterbalance for the visual creativity.” You can catch Keohane’s video gallery for free every day in Harvard Square, from dusk until 2 am.
Okay, we were unaware that one of the better hip-hop DJs on the East Coast had relocated to Boston, but we’re catching up now. Brooklyn’s DJ RUGGED ONE (a/k/a Greg Fils-Aime) is now repping the Hub, and we couldn’t be more pleased. With DJ battle stats that read like a hitman’s to-do list, Rugged One has landed a residency at Roggies in Cleveland Circle every other Friday — the next one is December 1. Circuits dropped in on him at the Beat Research party, where he threw down some fire, and we couldn’t recommend his sets more. His now-legendary mix CD 6 Great Albums (made with his partner JESSE FELLUSS) was just that, a mix of a select few of hip-hop’s finest CDs, and people still talk about it as one of the best examples of mixtape culture. Fils-Aime is inviting guests to perform at his night as well, getting DJ TOPSHOT to host and opening the mic up. “MCs, poets, get your words on and put your skills to the test,” he says. Get at him on www.myspace.com/djruggedone or www.addictsonline.com.
We profiled the self-proclaimed “P. Diddy of New England” a few months back, and dude is starting to make it a reality. J. JEWELS has expanded his office in the heart of Medford Square. He’s also helping bring MR. VEGAS to town. The internationally known dancehall/reggaetón vocalist puts the heat on our area November 22 at Club Lido in Revere. (That’s the day before Thanksgiving, so you know you can go.) Mr. Vegas is the voice behind the club superhit “Pull Up” and many more, but we love him best on Don Omar’s reggaetón smash “Pobre Diabla.” Joining Vegas are local reggae voices MIGHTY MYSTIC and CASTAFARI. Mystic is known best for his inspired anthem “Riding on the Clouds,” which hit the charts hard at local radio. For his part, J. Jewels can do pretty much whatever you want, from studio booking to graphic design to management. One of his favorite acts is flow king OMEGA RED, who has a new mixtape out: The Red Tape Vol. II. Red’s cadence pays respect to Sean Carter, with a bit of Beantown attitude, but The Red Tape is mixed down by hip-hop/reggaetón blend smoker DJ SAM SMOOVE, who reps Boston from New Hampshire to Miami Beach. The closest Sam will be getting to Basstown in the near future is a Mixtape Madness event December 9 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Guess who’s on his grind? TERMANOLOGY, of course. After matching wits with Boston’s greatest hip-hop success, DJ PREMIERE, on “Watch How It Go Down,” Term this past Tuesday dropped Hood Politics IV, which features appearances from buzzed-to-death MC Papoose, Roc Raida, and Mr. Dre Robinson. All of this comes together this Sunday at Who’s on First, across from Fenway Park, where the first annual Showoff Winter Fest takes place for, well, the first time. Joining Termanology will be Robinson, BALLCKLUB, GRANITE STATE and just about every sneaker fanatic in the nearest 100 miles. Be there.
On the Web
Lumen Eclipse: //www.lumeneclipse.com/
DJ Rugged One: //myspace.com/djruggedone