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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Bristol, England
Article on Sage in my local entertainments mag  Reply with quote  

I live in Bristol, England, and work for a newspaper here. The paper also owns an entertainments, culture and listings magazine, which is not too bad and has a pretty left perspective on most things. However, I was still shocked to see this week's "Big gig" feature on none other than Sage Francis.
I don't have access to a scanner right now, so I'm typing out the piece in full. There's a couple of inaccuracies, and it's a bit of a wanky publication at times, but it's a pretty positive piece. See you in Bristol!

Sage Francis

Adam Anonymous won't be getting on the wrong side of the ire-filled, activist hip-hopper

With an irony even Alanis Morissette could grasp, much of the anti-mainstream experimental hip-hop scene that blossomed from America around the time of turn of the millennium swiftly became rather formulaic. Only a few stood tall and survived, with career arcs that continued to shoot in fresh, new listenable directions.
One such artist was Paul 'Sage' Francis. A fiercely lyrical poetry-schooled rhymer, he came to wider attention with 2002's fittingly intimate Personal Journals on zeitgeist-setting Oakland crew-slash-label Anticon.
Though it's still a discography high, from there things truly became interesting. Signing to punk-rock powerhouse Epitaph (then, later, 'grown-up' sister imprint Anti) was one marker that Francis didn't really give a flying one what anybody else thought.
Another, that he has regularly been unafraid to rope indie-rock names into the mix.
The latter tendency is brought to full fruition on latest album Li(f)e - the premise, somewhat smugly executed in that title, being that life is a lie - where he's backed by a full band starring members of dust-blown Chicago experimental rockers Califone.
Evoking KRS-One as pumped through the eyes, adn to some extent larynx, of Tom Waits, memebrs of Death Cab For Cutie, Grandaddy and even Amelie soundtracker Yann Tiersen appear.
The most attention-grabbing collaboration, howerever, is Love The Lie, with Sparklehorse architect Mark Linkous, bittersweet subject matter ratcheted up another few notches by Linkous's subsequent suicide earlier this year.
Prolific, and with between-album releases on his own Stragne Famous label, Francis' many-stringed bow also extends to activism, co-founding the website, a right-on reference tool taking shonky big business practices to task.
It's as a frenetic, often-bearded bear-like live orator that Francis is most effective, though.
Those who caught him previously in Bristol will fondly recall one particularly magical pre-smoking ban moment. After pleading with only partial success for a temporary cigarette amnesty to protect an ailing throat, he waded out deep intot the crowd without breaking flow to pluck a Benson & Hedges clean from the lips of one defiant puffer.
Law changes mean there's no need to repeat those antics when Francis hits Bristol for the opening gig of a month-long European tour, with Strange FAmous protege B Dolan in tow.
And here's hoping a prior visit to the city, when his dressing room was burgled while he was on stage, isn't replicated either, if only because with a performer this intense and ire-filled, we wouldn't wish the consequences on anybody.

Sage Francis plays the Fleece, Bristol, on Wed 15 Sep.
Post Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:15 pm
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Jared Paul

Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3719
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Nice one!
Post Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:25 pm
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