Of the five bands on the bill this Thursday at Tobacco Road, Window is easily the most hardened road dog. The group's implicit motto is "We'll play anywhere," and that it does, from representing the local color at SXSW to providing a backdrop at divey Italian restaurants in St. Louis. A genial cross between Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, and plain vanilla bluegrass, the band releases its music through its own 50 Watt Records label.
Meanwhile the members of Miami-based HighRise physically resemble the prototypical yell-core opening act for Slayer. But their strain of down-tempo hip-hop wouldn't hurt a fly. Over live drums, guitar, bass, and keys, MC Proe offers up a white-bread brat flow begging to get its teeth kicked in, but he's fine with that, noting that "degenerates and assholes" are words people tend to associate with his crew just as often as "innovative."
Like HighRise, Christian hip-hoppers City of God are young, and they're working the bugs out of both their half-finished debut LP and their own label. The Fort Lauderdale-based five-piece cites as influences Jay-Z, Sergio Mendes, and Incubus, which doesn't really explain the heavy use of moody, reflective piano intros on the band's rough MySpace sketches (www.myspace.com/cityofgodband). Not that we don't take their word for it. — Eric W. Saeger