For many, the chief draw was the one-time-only re-creation of the famous Brainfreeze set by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, wherein the two friends throw down about a zillion 12-inch singles (extra points awarded for degree of difficulty) containing some of the greatest rare soul & funk jewels of the ’60 and ’70s; both guys were in commanding form but kept it a bit loose, knowing that no one was gonna sweat ’em if they were late on a cue from time to time (no train wrecks, though). This set was especially satisfying for the sheer inspiration of the choices, and for the athletic and artful way they were sequenced and blended, all with a sense of form that produced a cinema-like narrative flow. A following set by X-Clan felt just right — substantially duskier, weightier, way minimal, and directly politicized and threatening, which in the mellow feel-good context of this night was pretty spine-tingling. Jurassic 5 closed things out with frantically funky flair, their five-man lineup trading off and even harmonizing (kinda) on a slew of their party-down classics.
At the hefty donation price, it was especially nice to see that the house was packed, and with a lot of very young people who probably couldn’t easily spare the dosh, and on a Thursday night no less — says a lot about kids’ minds and hearts being in approximately t¡he right place. Now if we could mobilize the same kind of crowds in support of a national health-insurance program, we’d really be on to something.