Mad Happy

Circle Bar

November 30, 2005

Mad Happy took the Circle Bar back to a sunnier time in rap Wednesday night. The duo from Pensacola's electro hip-hop was fun("All we wanna do is turn this party out") and quirky("Paint the White House pink"). Their vibe was reminiscent of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, De La Soul, and Biz Markie.

How the actual songs sound was something completely different. Mike iLL and Rivka mix up the usual boom-boom-shake-the-room beats with Aphex Twin-influenced stutter beats. And they rap over everything--Klezmer, two-step, pop, rock, blues. Basically, Mad Happy played fun, dance music with the catchiness of nursery rhymes. The diversity of Mad Happy's music kept the concert interesting. It was hard to tell whether the next song was gonna be slow or fast.

Rivka and Mike stalked the stage and worked the crowd. They talked to the audience about everything from a lack of underwear to the hurricane. It was a party in the Circle Bar as the band encouraged the crowd to break out of their cages. In other words: Dance, motherf----, dance. About fifteen or so boogied(do people really "boogie" anymore? Discuss) up close to the music.

Mad Happy often rapped together, and they executed well, but sometimes what they were executing wasn't all that great. Even though the band had an ear for epic rock melodies and hooks, their rapping was amateurish at times. It was obvious that the song came before the words. That doesn't mean they didn't have a message, though. Mad Happy focused on individuality and tolerance.

The best song last night was "File 2 The Metal." Go get it at their MySpace Page. It's the closest thing they have to a sure thing.


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