Wolves from The Hood Pose Rappers in The Game a Profound 'Why'?

    Screen shot 2009-10-22 at 10.07.40 AMWhether the glove fits or not, the Loft refuses to back away from its newfound status as a venue for gritty hip-hop.

    Playing host to frequent campus visitors like Zion I and endless rounds of solo Living Legend members (Luckyiam, Scarub and Eligh just can’t seem to get enough), this swanky little club unfortunately can’t help but blast the awkward. Whereas the Pub can always come through on dirty, sweaty high-energy acts — though who knows, after the remodel — the Loft is better suited for the indie-rock scene.

    That’s where Why? can save the day. As their hip-hop days are more or less behind them — new album Eskimo Snow sees the group floating way off into the poppy fields of indie-land — the foursome introduces the Loft’s ambitions to its inevitable strengths, mixing lo-fi with old school beats for a perfect night out at Price Center East.

    With production ranging from ethereal piano over xylophone to strong kick and flat, heavy snare beats — sometimes including both ends of the spectrum on a single track — the band of Cincinnati natives turned Oakland residents made its breakthrough into the mainstream underground with Alopecia in 2008, though they’d been riding the Atmosphere-fueled Anticon wave for at least half a decade beforehand.

    Unapologetically declining to choose between folk, pretty indie and weird-hop as their main shtick, or between guitar and keyboard as their backbone, Why? give new cool to the world of half-assed alternative.

    Their first release as a band in 2005 arrived in the midst of the hyphy movement, providing a daring Bay Area substitute for sideshowin’ and ghostridin’ the whip with Elephant Eyelash.

    No matter what genre the band chooses to conquer, songwriter Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf never runs out of obscurities to sing, spit or just plain talk on. Wolf dabbles in daydreams of a long-distance relationship on “Gemini,” off Eyelash, and later devotes an entire track to comparing his own fragile body to “Light Leaves.”

    Onstage, Why? keep it minimal — dressing down to play up a laid-back image and letting intergalactic tracks speak for themselves.

    Of course, Anticon freaks this awesome come with a price, and the normally pay-as-you-can Loft knows that. The show costs $10 for UCSD students, but considering the venue is running out of cash like nobody’s business, it’s probably a worthy cause — not to mention a good time — to make sure everyone’s favorite awkward little venue keeps trying for undergrounders this great.

    Why? will rm live at the Loft on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 p.m.

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